Magazine article Management Today

Masterclass: Remuneration

Magazine article Management Today

Masterclass: Remuneration

Article excerpt

WHAT IS IT? Hard pay. Money. Wonga. So vulgar, these terms. How much better to draw a veil over the crude reality of the 'cash nexus' and use the most polysyllabic term we can think of. As usual, Shakespeare was on to the absurdity of this word 400 years ago. The clown Costard in Love's Labour's Lost is handed a payment by a nobleman (described as a 'remuneration') and inspects his winnings: 'Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration! O, that's the Latin word for three farthings: three farthings, remuneration ... Remuneration! Why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I will never buy and sell out of this word.'

WHERE DID IT COME FROM? Its Latin roots imply paying someone back for something - a recompense (hence 'compensation'). At the heart of capitalist exchange is the notion of fair play and indeed fair pay Trade is all about getting something for something. So when somebody's remuneration (or, even worse, 'emolument') gets out of hand, the receivers of said excessive remuneration are in a sense offending against the very spirit of business itself. …

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