Revealed: Edinburgh firms with biggest gender pay gaps
More than 70 per cent of large businesses in Edinburgh pay men more than women, it has been revealed.
The statistics came as gender pay reporting legislation requiring employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showed just how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.
A total of 108 companies submitted their data in the Capital, with 70.4 per cent of the firms paying men more.
The company with the highest median pay gap between male and female members of staff was Premier Oil PLC with a 53.2 per cent disparity. This means that women earn 47p for every £1 that men earn.
Premier Oil PLC, which has a registered office in Edinburgh, says it doesn’t have any employees in the city.
A spokesperson for Premier Oil said: “Premier Oil has long been committed to the principle of equal opportunity and the maintenance of a fair and non-discriminatory work environment.
“Premier Oil is committed to action, both current and future, that should promote ongoing sustainable improvement on gender pay gap, both within Premier and our contribution to the Oil and Gas industry at large, which shows similar statistics to Premier on gender pay.”
The analysis is based on data as of April 5 each year. The gender pay gap shows the differences in the average pay between men and women.
Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd has a 45.6 per cent difference, though only ten per cent of the 371 UK employees are based in the Capital. The remainder are contracted to Franklin Templeton Global Investors Ltd, which still has a gender pay gap of 20.4 per cent.
Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools – which includes the all-girls school – mean imbalance of 19.1 per cent and median pay gap of 42.4 per cent represents the third largest contrast.
An ESMS spokesperson said: “We have a majority of female staff in all four of our pay quartiles, with female staff making up more than 50 per cent of our workforce in Quartile 1 and more than 70 per cent of our workforce in Quartiles 2, 3 and 4. Our median gender pay gap of 42.4 per cent reflects this split as it compares very different roles in our schools. Our mean and median pay gaps are consistent with many other independent schools and academy trusts across the UK.
“We are clear that individuals in the same roles are paid the same, regardless of gender, and that our pay gap is driven by the make-up of our workforce.”
Standard Life Investments Ltd acknowledged there was a “need to take action” after it was revealed there was a gender gap of 37 per cent at the asset management firm.
Kerry Christie, chief people officer, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving these figures and we have said from the outset that we welcome this legislation as a catalyst for change. There’s no quick fix. We believe sustainable progress comes from growing a gender balanced workforce at all levels of our business. While this approach takes time, we have a strategy in place and are targeting interventions to accelerate closing this gap over the next few years.”
Scottish Rugby Union told the Evening News that the organisation’s statistics are reflective of the significant proportion of male professional rugby players and coaches included in them. Excluding those, the SRU still has a 35 per cent mean gender pay gap. The average median pay gap for companies based in Edinburgh was 12.9 per cent, which compares to a national average of 12 per cent.
An SRU spokesperson said: “While it is recognised that there is a predominance of male employees in higher level roles, a number of key senior roles within the organisation have increasingly been filled by females and currently 35 per cent of Heads of Department are female.
“Scottish Rugby’s recruitment process is designed to select the person best capable to carry out any position within the organisation, irrespective of gender.”
Hearts offers equal pay to both genders while Hibs only employs 94 people meaning they do not legally have to disclose the information.
The Royal Bank of Scotland said their figure of a 36.5 per cent gender gap was similar to its banking peers, but insisted the firm is determined to close the gap.
An RBS spokesperson said: “The bank’s gender pay gap is largely attributable to more men than women being in higher paid, more senior positions. We’re making good progress towards correcting this imbalance, having set ourselves a target to have women in at least 30 per cent of our top 800 roles in each business area by 2020.
“By continuing to challenge ourselves we are confident we can significantly move the bank towards a 50/50 balance at all levels and substantially reduce our gender pay gap.”
Edinburgh Airport has a pay gap of 14.1 per cent, just above the owner of the Evening News, Johnston Press PLC, with 13.9 per cent.
Companies who do not provide their figures will face legal action including court orders and fines, but only after they have been given a month’s grace to report the figures.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it will write to employers who have not complied on April 9, giving them 28 days to publish the figures “before an investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued”.
Courts can impose an unlimited fine on those who do not comply.
Anna Ritchie Allan, executive director of Close the Gap, said: “Evidence shows that most employers are unlikely to voluntarily take action on gender equality, predominantly because they unduly think they’re already treating all their staff fairly.
“We know from the experience of the Scotland’s public sector that reporting alone doesn’t create change.
“Employers need to look beneath the headline figure, analyse their pay data, identify why there are differences and then set out the actions they’re going to take to solve the problem.
“The challenge for employers is to decide whether to be sector leaders and demonstrate their commitment to gender equality, or to risk reputational damage by doing nothing.”
The full list of Edinburgh-based companies which submitted data, ranked by median pay difference, can be viewed here.
What is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women.
In 2017 it became government policy that all UK companies employing 250 people or more must submit the details of their gender pay gap by 4 April 2018.
Public bodies were given an earlier reporting deadline of 30 March 2018. Regardless of industry, all gender pay gap information was sent to the Government Equalities Office (GEO) for processing.
What gender pay gap data has been released and where can I see it?
Organisations were required to release both the mean and median difference in hourly rate, as well as the proportion of women in each pay quartile.
They also had to divulge the percentage of women and men who received bonus pay, and state which gender’s bonus pay was higher.
This information is available to view online for anyone who wishes to access it, via a government website.
In line with the guidelines, more than 9,000 employers were obliged to disclose their gender pay gap.
What are the penalties?
Companies which failed to publish their findings by the deadline will be approached informally by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Employers who do not comply could ultimately face fines and convictions.
There are currently no plans to penalise businesses with a wide gender pay gap. Instead, the government intend to publish industry-specific league tables, highlighting the employers failing to even out differences in salary between men and women.
How reliable is the information?
The accuracy of these statistics relies on the honesty and vigilance of the reporting organisations. Businesses and public bodies have submitted their own findings, and the data does not appear to have been corroborated.
While the information gathered exposes a company’s overall gender pay gap, it does not necessarily mean that women are being paid less than men in the same roles.
How do the numbers compare?
According to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, the gender pay gap fell to 9.1 per cent in the UK last year. The year before, the number sat at 9.4 per cent.
Comparatively, in 1997, men earned 17.4 per cent more than women on average.
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