Salary mapping is an essential process for ensuring fair and equal pay within organizations. It helps identify and address any pay disparities based on factors like gender or job role, fostering transparency and equality. By engaging in salary mapping, businesses can create a more just and motivated workplace.

What is Salary Mapping?

Salary mapping involves systematically analyzing employee salaries to uncover unjustified differences. This process is not just a legal requirement in many places but also a best practice for maintaining a fair workplace. It includes collecting data on salaries, comparing them across different categories, and identifying discrepancies that need to be addressed.

Salary mapping helps organizations understand their pay structures and make informed decisions about salary adjustments. This process is particularly important for identifying and correcting gender pay gaps, assuring that all employees are compensated fairly for their work.

Why Salary Mapping Matters

Prioritizing fair compensation promotes a positive work environment. It boosts employee morale and trust while helping organizations comply with legal standards. In Sweden, for instance, annual salary mapping is mandatory regardless of the number of employees.

Regular salary mapping demonstrates a company's commitment to fairness and equality. By proactively addressing pay disparities, businesses can prevent potential legal issues and foster a more inclusive workplace. Fair pay practices also improve the company's reputation, making it more attractive to current and prospective employees.

Conducting Salary Mapping

To conduct salary mapping, start by gathering detailed data on employee salaries, including bonuses and benefits. This data should be detailed, covering all job roles and employment types within the organization. Analyze this data to identify any pay discrepancies.

Using digital tools for salary mapping ensures structure and simplifies complex data management. These tools can help you organize the process effectively by providing a clear overview and guiding you through each step.

A standout example is Simployer, which includes solutions that cover a wide range of HR processes, including salary mapping. Using Simployer’s solution for salary mapping makes it possible for you to streamline the process, as it provides you with instructions, structured workflows and it gives you a great overview of the project. This feature also helps ensure your salary mapping adheres to current laws and remains thorough.

Interested in learning more about Simployer's offerings and our salary mapping tools? Book a meeting with us here.

Other ways are to include employee representatives or unions in this process to ensure transparency. Cooperation with these groups helps build trust and ensures that the salary mapping process is fair and inclusive. If disparities are found, develop action plans to address them. This might include adjusting salaries or revising your pay policies.

Salary mapping should be done at least once per year, regular reviews and updates to ensure that pay practices remain fair and competitive. By continuously monitoring and adjusting pay structures, organizations can maintain a fair and equitable workplace.

Challenges in Salary Mapping

Accurate data collection is necessary for a reliable analysis. Making sure the data is up-to-date and covers all relevant aspects of employee compensation is vital. 

Implementing changes based on the findings can be complex and requires careful planning and communication. Organizations must develop clear action plans and communicate them effectively to employees. This may involve revising salary policies, adjusting individual salaries, and guaranteeing that future salary decisions are based on objective criteria.

Addressing pay disparities can be challenging, especially if significant adjustments are needed. However, by committing to a fair and transparent salary mapping process, organizations can build a more equitable and motivated workforce.

7 Common Questions About Salary Mapping

1. Is there a minimum number of employees required for salary mapping to be mandatory?

No, the requirement to conduct annual salary mapping applies regardless of the number of employees. If you have 10 or more employees at the end of the last calendar year, you must also document the process.

2. How are employees counted? Is it based on full-time positions or the actual number of employees?

The actual number of employees is counted. It does not matter what percentage of full-time work they do or their type of employment.

3. What does it mean to conduct salary mapping in cooperation with the union, or if there isn't one, with a group of employees?

The Discrimination Act requires employers to cooperate with employees, usually represented by unions with which the employer has a collective agreement. If there is no collective agreement, the employer must determine how employees should best participate in the process.

4. Does the union have the right to see all employees' salaries, and what happens if there is no agreement on cooperation?

Participants in the cooperation have the right to the information needed for salary mapping and analysis. This duty to inform applies to the unions with which the employer has a collective agreement. However, it does not grant a general right for employee representatives to see all salaries. Cooperation does not require consensus; the employer has the final say and must carry out the salary mapping despite any disagreements.

5. Is having a salary policy a must or a recommendation for a company? If mandatory, where is it stated for companies without a collective agreement? Can a salary policy be verbal?

There is currently no legal requirement for an employer to have a salary policy, although it may be required by applicable collective agreements. We recommend that all employers have a clear salary policy outlining how salaries are set. The Discrimination Act requires employers to analyze salary and employment conditions, implying the need for some form of documented salary setting guidelines.

6. How should non-binary or other gender identities be considered in salary mapping?

In Sweden, only two legal genders, woman or man, are recognized. This means that the individual's personal identification number determines their legal gender. While a person may identify as non-binary, this is not addressed in salary mapping.

7. How significant must a salary difference be to be considered an anomaly that needs adjustment?

There is no minimum threshold for salary differences. All differences must be justifiable based on non-gender-related factors.


Regular salary mapping is essential for ensuring fairness and compliance within organizations. It involves analyzing employee salaries to identify and address any unjustified disparities. This practice fosters a transparent and equitable workplace, boosting employee morale and trust.

Conducting salary mapping annually is mandatory, regardless of the number of employees. It requires accurate data collection and involvement from employee representatives or salary mapping tools  to ensure a non-biased and  inclusive process. A clear salary policy, while not legally required, provides a helpful framework for setting and analyzing salaries. All salary differences must be justifiable based on non-gender-related factors.

By committing to ongoing salary mapping, businesses create a fairer, more transparent workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. This dedication to fairness and equality is crucial for building a strong and inclusive organizational culture, enhancing both legal compliance and the company’s reputation.

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