ALONG with who we vote for and how often we have sex, how much we earn is something we prefer to keep quiet, or lie about.

But it seems that this taboo could be breaking down as the debate about equal pay rages.

A new survey has revealed that most UK employees are prepared to reveal their own salaries in order to achieve parity across their workplace.

New research by global recruitment consultancy, Hudson, found that 60% of workers would be comfortable revealing what they get paid to colleagues in the name of pay equality.

A similar number 62 per cent believe that senior managers should have to disclose what they get paid to the rest of the workforce too.

Hudson says the findings represent a warning to employers that pay and pay reviews need to be fair and transparent throughout the organisation, in order to avoid the risk of losing talented employees.

Two thirds of professional employees 63 per cent quizzed said they believed that more transparency about pay would reduce the gender pay gap.

Men are paid, on average, 17.2 per centmore than women in the same position.

Hudson conducted the study among 1,000 UK workers in professional employment to assess how employees' attitudes to the traditionally sensitive issue of pay might have changed in light of recent reports into pay equality.

Andy Rogerson, chief executive, Hudson UK, said: “British employees are ready to break one of the biggest taboos in the workplace – revealing salaries – in order to ensure true equality of pay.

“The gender pay gap persists, and businesses that neglect to address it are risking alienating half their workforce. Those that promote equality and back this up with visible action will prosper – particularly in an economic climate where retention of the right talent will become more business-critical.

“A policy of salary disclosure at all levels is not likely to be appropriate at many organisations, clearly,” he adds.

“But the underlying principle, of ensuring fairness and transparency in the process of setting and reviewing salaries, is a good one.”

He also argues that being open about earnings can be motivational, saying: “At successful listed companies, where board executives have to disclose their salaries, such openness can fuel the aspirations – and the performance level – of those employees with an eye on a top job.

Hudson has the following advice for employees concerned that they are getting a poor deal:

  • Ask colleagues. Given the findings of this report, you may be surprised how many of your peers are prepared to share information that has traditionally been a sensitive subject.
  • Ask your line manager. They should be able - and happy - to tell you the company's policy on pay, and possibly even what the salary bandings are for a particular position and how they work. If they don't know, they should be able to find out for you within a reasonable time frame.
  • Look at salary surveys for your industry, often published annually in trade publications and online, and job adverts for similar positions. If, having compared these, you feel you are being underpaid, take this evidence to your line manager and demonstrate how you are operating at this level.