I am applying for faculty positions in multiple countries. For all of the UK positions, it was necessary to fill out an online form, which always asks for my current salary, and often asks for my "expected salary". All the UK job calls I have seen did state a salary range.
I find it very uncomfortable to tell them an "expected salary" and I worry that they will try to use this to exploit me.
Also, my current position was extended with a lower salary than what I was getting before (due to funding constraints). It was worth accepting this lower salary for a limited time, but I would not have accepted it long term. For this reason, I would prefer not to state my current salary either.
The application system requires me to fill out these fields, but of course I could always write something like "negotiable" which amounts to a refusal to tell. I don't know if this is a good idea though.
In a UK context, what is the best way to proceed? Just put in the average of their stated salary range? Is it legal for them to require me to give this information? What would be the consequences if I refuse? Is this information used to choose one candidate over another?
I have seen "What should I state for "expected salary" in a tenure-track job application?" and I read the answers. I feel that they don't apply here, as the country and context make a difference.