That’s according to new research, which also saw one in seven managers say they knowingly pay some employees more than others even though they do the same job.
One in eight bosses admit that men and women in the same roles don’t get paid the same amount in their workplace.
Three quarters of workers say they would consider asking for pay rise if they knew someone doing the same job as them was being paid more. However, 95 per cent of managers say they have turned down requests for pay rises from their employees, with common excuses being limited budget, pay rises being out of their control and pay rises being due in six months’ time.
More than half of the employees surveyed for the study by law firm Slater & Gordon say they have never asked for a pay rise, with almost one in five worrying they will be fired if they do so. One in eight believes they will look ungrateful, while 12 per cent think negatively of employees if they ask for a rise.
One in eight workers say they have never had a pay rise, while less than half of bosses say they do everything in their power to get an employee a pay rise if they think they deserve it.
The study also saw one in five workers say they would consider legal action if they had been promised a pay rise that never materialised; close to 30% would do so if someone of the opposite sex was being paid more than them, while more than one in five would consider it simply if they thought they were being underpaid.
Watch the video with employment lawyer Jasmine Van Loggerenberg to find out what your legal rights are when it comes to fair pay, and what to do if you think you are being unfairly paid.