Where 25-year-old Cecilia Manduca works there is a “pay self-assessment process”. Put simply, the workers there decide how much they are worth and should be paid.
Recently she awarded herself a £7,000 pay rise, taking her annual salary to £37,000.
“I felt a lot of doubts asking for that raise,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money.
“It took a lot of talks with other people. I was aware that my job had changed. I was aware I was going way beyond my targets.
“I knew that from a rational point of view I deserved that higher rate. But I had a lot of self-doubt and I felt sort of greedy because there’s always a stigma – a sense you should feel happy with what you have.
“When I spoke with my colleagues internally and asked for advice, the advice they gave me was that yes I did deserve it and I was worth it.”
Her employer, GrantTree, helps UK business get government funding and all of its 45 staff set their own salary, which they can review as often as they like.
Self-set pay is the latest innovation among companies that are competing for the top talent and want to show they offer the most attractive employment terms.
‘No-one says no’
The exact process varies from company to company.
At GrantTree staff first gather information about what others are paid elsewhere for roles similar to their own, Cecilia told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money, in other words how much the firm would have to spend to replace them.
Then they look at how much the company can afford to pay them, and think about how much they have grown as individuals since they first started.
“Based on this data you make a proposal that is reviewed by colleagues,” says Cecilia.
“This is quite important, because colleagues are not there to say yes or no, or to approve it. They are there to ask questions and give you some feedback.
After that feedback the employee decides on a figure.
“The key point is that nobody has to prove it; once you make a decision that pay now happens,” she says.
What goes up
Cecilia says that two members of staff at GrantTree actually chose to voluntarily reduce their pay after their responsibilities changed.