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Is asking for payslip from previous employer normal even after the offer is finalised?

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Senior Robotics & Computer Vision Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

Hi There,

I am based in the UK and have been offered a staff computer vision engineer position at a growth-stage startup. The offer has already been finalized, but the company's CTO has requested my previous employer's recent payslip. This is unusual in my experience, as no one has ever asked for my payslips before.

I initially thought they might use the payslip to determine my compensation, but that has already been decided and communicated to me. I negotiated a signing bonus based on my expected salary expectations and a "made-up current salary (range )" because the base salary offered was not appropriate for the market rate.

During the interview process, I mentioned my current salary, which was not the exact real number (as per Rahul's advice). However, now that they are asking for my payslip, it will reveal my actual salary. I am concerned that this might leave a bad impression and create trust issues with the CTO, potentially affecting our working dynamics.

I love the team and the project, and everything else seems promising. However, I am unsure about how to proceed with this situation. The recruiter mentioned that the payslip is required for administrative purposes, but I am still hesitant. Any advice on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated.

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(2 comments)
  • 1
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    Senior Robotics & Computer Vision Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    a month ago

    I finally managed to understand the reason behind the request for my previous payslip. It seems there is a third-party entity involved in the hiring process, likely a recruitment agency or consulting firm, with whom the company has contractual obligations. These obligations require them to verify that my new compensation package is fair and aligns with my previous earnings.

    Apparently in Germany there is something called Employment Compliance where There are contractual obligations with an external HR/employment firm or consultant to ensure full compliance with labor laws, industry standards, and fair compensation practices during the hiring process. Providing previous salary data could be part of their auditing or verification procedures.

    Its been my first time experience with such thing but anyways, company was being very transparent about it once I started asking question.

    Secondly, The compensation number also needs to go on Certificate of sponsorship letter (It is used to apply for work visa).

    Overall it is all sorted. I thought I should post this anyways just incase if anyone else experience such situation. It is very specific to Germany.

    Note: As a part of this process, company also expects two references from previous employers.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    It is very much NOT normal to share your payslip for your next role. The most common reason for this is to take your previous pay, bump it up by just a little, and then make that the offer to underpay you. In California, it's literally illegal to ask for prior compensation information for that very reason.

    However, I know that it's different based on region (I think you need to share it in India as well), and it looks like that was the case for you too. I'm glad you followed up and figured out what was going on - Thanks so much for sharing the update! You should always ask for the reason why in situations like these, so you made the right call.

    For other folks in negotiation stage, here's the part of our negotiation course where it covers how to not give a number (and what to do if your hand is forced): https://www.jointaro.com/course/the-insiders-guide-to-negotiating-your-tech-salary-and-compensation/what-if-i-have-to-give-a-number/