Breaking the Silence on Pay in Games Sector

Information and knowledge is the first step to improving working conditions in the sector. We know that extensive use of non-disclosure agreements damages transparency and hinders the sharing of information amongst workers. GWUI-FSU are committed to challenging this and to being a source of workers information by and for us, game workers.

In 2020 we released our first Report that identifies major issues around pay, unpaid overtime, hours of work, discrimination and a lack of decent working conditions. And now we have launched our second Report which focusses specifically on pay in the sector.

This report is the first ever Pay Transparency Report into the game sector. This is a unique set of information as it is ours, the workers. We designed it, responded to it and produced it. We will now build on this data set each year so that you are armed with more information and transparency around pay so that together we can improve pay and pay fairness in the sector.

Our report makes a number of important findings. Many workers in the sector our earning below the Living Wage (€12.30 per hour) often working in support, admin, service and testing functions where there is a higher percentage of women workers. We believe the Gender Pay Gap in our sector would be frightening if it was produced.

Pay (pay ranges and pay increases) are highly private, confidential and individualised. Simply put, no one knows what the pay ranges are by roles or grade and what increases companies are paying. Are they fair? Are they equal? This secrecy and silence gives employers all the power and can lead to widespread discrimination and inequality as well as workers earning less than they should.

Unpaid overtime is still endemic in the sector. Despite a lot of talk of wellbeing and work-life balance by employers crunch and exploitation still happens. Frighteningly the report also highlights how employers are abandoning and absconding from their responsibility to our futures. Pensions are deferred wages. They are wages that you earn from your employer now but that are paid when you retire so that you can live in decent conditions in your retirement. Unions fought and won pension rights over decades of struggle. A massive 78% in the survey said their employer is not paying any pension contributions. This is a scandal which we will address together.

By the end of this year we will publish to members a pay range fact sheet based on this survey. We will also re-release the survey so that we continue to build the data set for you. Finally, we are pushing for decent working conditions, including the Living Wage, to be linked to the Digital Games Tax Incentive that the Government is planning. We have written to every political party and have met a number.

Lets continue to build and grow GWUI-FSU, your voice at work.

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