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Ask Ash

14 March 16

Advice column: a colleague is jealous of my pay rise

Dear Ash

I recently had my salary increased after successfully completing a number of important projects. Although the increase was significant, I had been seeking a rise for a long time and had raised this issue with my boss on a number of occasions. However, despite my good news I now seem to be the subject of a colleague’s envy. He seems to have found out about my rise; although I’m not sure how, I suspect that it was from his friend in HR. He has now repeatedly been complaining about his salary to me and seems to be suggesting indirectly that the boss is biased in my favour. I’m increasingly feeling uncomfortable about his suggestions but have so far refrained from responding as I don’t feel it would be right for me to discuss my salary with anyone.

Ash replies:

Envy is a very negative emotion and it is clearly having a detrimental impact on you. However, your colleague is being both unfair and unprofessional; if he has an issue he should be challenging his boss about it and not directing his frustrations at you.

You have clearly demonstrated your worth by working hard – do not let your colleague’s comments affect you in any way or make you feel guilty.

I suggest that you make clear to him that you are under no obligation to justify your position to him, and that if he does have any issues he should take this up with your boss directly. If he fails to back down, make clear that you will have to take it up with your boss. If he does think that you are favoured then he clearly will not want your boss to be aware of his issues!

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor:, or mail to Studio 2001, Mile End, Paisley PA1 1JS. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised. 

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, head of admissions on 0131 476 8162 or by email:

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