One in 5 vet employees given no pay rise in any respect, survey claims

A brand new survey claims that a couple of in 5 UK veterinary sector employees acquired no pay enhance in any respect final yr.

The report by NSV Veterinary Recruitment additionally discovered fewer than 10% of staff acquired an increase above present inflation ranges and warned extra pay calls for might observe, amid ongoing industrial motion in different sectors.

In the meantime, union leaders have urged professionals to hunt their assist in securing higher pay offers from employers.


The evaluation, which relies on the salaries of greater than 3,000 folks on the finish of December 2022, discovered that 22% got no pay rise in any respect within the previous 12 months.

Round two-thirds had their pay elevated, both by between 1% and 5% (41.5%), or between 6% and 10% (25.5%). However, with client worth inflation operating at 10.5% in December, solely 9% of staff acquired rises of 11% or extra.

Industrial motion

Though NSV has indicated it doesn’t count on to see pay points within the veterinary sector resulting in industrial motion, the report acknowledged that the outcomes of high-profile disputes elsewhere might nicely enhance the stress on employers within the months forward.

The report mentioned: “There may be actually some discuss that employers are banking on wages total falling or off-setting wage calls for with adjustments in working circumstances.

“However as elevated mortgage and rents hit similtaneously power and meals costs soar, it may very well be that wage calls for are storing up.

“With a variety of well-publicised strikes, these are being watched carefully by the career.”


The potential for persevering with stress on wages was additionally highlighted throughout a session on charging on the current SPVS Congress in Birmingham.

A profitability examine by the accountancy agency Hazlewoods, which was offered to delegates, discovered that adjusted staffing prices accounted for no less than 40% of apply turnover in round 71% of instances, primarily based on an evaluation of 35 practices, with 40% reporting prices accounting for 50% of turnover or extra.

Hazlewoods companion Suzanne Headington – who specialises within the veterinary sector – mentioned above inflation wage will increase would stay potential, even when the speed of worth will increase start to fall throughout 2023, due to the broader challenges of recruiting and retaining employees.

She inspired delegates to not be complacent, and assessment what they’re doing frequently. However she additionally urged them to be clinically led, including: “For those who’re doing the correct factor for the animal, then the costs ought to observe anyway.”

Pay ranges

The NSV survey additionally indicated common wage ranges in Scotland are larger for everlasting veterinary and nursing employees than in most areas of England and Wales.

Though minimal pay ranges had been decrease north of the border than in most different areas, it discovered that common salaries for vets ranged from £39,299 to £78,597 per yr, relying on seniority and sector, with combined practices tending to pay extra. In the meantime, nurses’ common salaries ranged from £23,227 for assistants to £35,091 per yr for senior and managerial roles.

Solely London and the south-east recorded larger common pay ranges at companion degree for vets, and at senior or managerial degree for nurses.

Monetary help

Publication of the NSV survey comes quickly after the charity Vetlife revealed the quantity of requests it acquired for monetary help from veterinary professionals greater than trebled in 2022 in comparison with the earlier yr.

The British Veterinary Union (BVU), which is a department of Unite, believes pay failing to maintain up with inflation is prone to be an element and mentioned it was “saddened” by the surge in pleas for assist.

Department chairperson Suzanna Hudson-Cooke mentioned: “The BVU is grateful to Vetlife for the work they do, supporting the employees within the veterinary sector, however involved that so many are in monetary hardship in a worthwhile business comparable to ours.”

Attain out

Dr Hudson-Cooke added: “We’d urge veterinary staff throughout the sector to succeed in out to us as the one commerce union for the sector for assist in requesting pay rises from their employers.

“The BVU presents illustration to all staff within the veterinary sector, together with [animal care assistants] and receptionists, who are sometimes among the many worst paid staff in our business.”

At current, the BVU solely has a recognition settlement in place with the RSPCA, making it the one main care supplier that may face disruption within the occasion of a dispute resulting in strike motion.


However work is continuous to safe recognition agreements with different organisations and, whereas stressing it will all the time search negotiations earlier than resorting to the “drastic motion” of walkouts, Dr Hudson-Cooke mentioned the present industrial motion helps to spice up its membership, too.

She added: “I feel, all throughout the nation, individuals are watching the strikes and their very own conditions.

“Our membership numbers are all the time rising and I feel that is partially as a consequence of seeing the optimistic response to strikes within the public eye for the time being.”