The British Veterinary Receptionist Association (BVRA) recently polled its members as part of its first salary and benefits survey.* It has found that most receptionists love their job but many are dissatisfied over levels of pay.
The results show that veterinary receptionists generally rate their job satisfaction as ‘high’, with 9% even claiming their job is ‘brilliant’. Their main sources of dissatisfaction however are pay, followed by requests for longer breaks and a desire to avoid lone working.
The results reveal that 10% are paid at, or less than, the minimum wage for someone 25 years of age and over (£7.83 per hour**) and more than 50% receive less than £9 per hour. For comparison, warehouse operatives at Amazon are paid £9 per hour.***
Only 53% of veterinary receptionists believe they are paid fairly for the work they do. Those who think they are not paid fairly receive an average salary of £8.90 per hour, whereas those that think they are paid fairly receive an average of £10.71 per hour. The survey enquired as to other benefits of employment and the results showed that 92% receive discounts on pet products, 57% have paid CPD and 30% receive a Christmas bonus. Surprisingly, only 80% receive free tea and coffee as part of their employment.
BVRA founder Brian Faulkner MRCVS commented, “Veterinary receptionists have significantly more responsibility than most other receptionist roles and need a great deal of knowledge to ensure that clients get to see the ‘right’ vet at the ‘right’ time, as well as recommending the practice’s healthcare services. We know that veterinary receptionists are usually very committed to their practices. Many of our members have asked us how they can justify a wage increase or what a fair CPD allowance should be. This is why we created our Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award to help our members demonstrate the benefits of having knowledge and training specific to the veterinary profession.“
He went on, “It appears that CPD allowances for veterinary receptionists are not yet standard in our profession but that the most progressive practices allocate around £250 per receptionist per annum.”
BVRA members will be able to access the full findings of the salary survey via their membership dashboard in October.
*The BVRA Salary Survey was carried out during August and September 2018 and the organisation received 182 responses from its members.
**https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates Rate as at April 2018
** Source: Indeed, September 2018