Ladbrokes, Easyjet and Virgin Money are among the major companies to reveal gender pay gaps of more than 15% in favour of men for mean hourly pay.

Organisations with 250 or more workers must publish their figures by April and so far 527 firms have done so.

Women’s hourly pay rates is 52% lower than men’s at Easyjet, On average, women earn 15% less per hour at Ladbrokes and 33% less at Virgin Money.

All three firms say men and women are paid equally when in the same role.

At Easyjet, for example, 6% of its UK pilots are women – a role which pays £92,400 a year on average – whereas 69% of lower-paid cabin crew are women, with an average annual salary of £24,800.

The carrier said it had set a target that one in five of new entrant pilots should be female by 2020.

‘Weak representation’

The Ladbrokes Coral group put its gender pay gap largely down to “weak representation at our senior levels” and Virgin Money said it was “confident” men and women were paid equally for the same jobs.

The gender pay gap is distinct from equal pay, which is the difference in pay between a man and a woman who carry out the same or similar jobs.

In 2016, the UK gender pay gap was 9.4% for full-time workers, or 18.1% for all staff.

Employers of about half of the UK’s workforce will be affected by the reporting rules, which reveal discrepancies in pay and bonuses, with the results published on a government database.

What we know so far

Companies have been publishing figures ad hoc ahead of the 6 April cut-off, including the BBC, which revealed women’s mean hourly rate was 10.7% lower.

The firm to publish the biggest gender pay gap so far is women’s fashion chain Phase Eight – with a 64.8% lower mean hourly rate for female staff.

Phase Eight’s chief executive Benjamin Barnett said the figure did not reflect the “true story” of the business, since most male employees worked in head office roles rather than in shops.

As of last April, 39 of Phase Eight’s 44 male employees worked in the corporate head office – where pay tends to be higher – which Mr Barnett said was likely to be the case at other women’s fashion retailers.


Women’s hourly rates

Government departments, retailers, banks and energy firms are among the employers to reveal pay differences in mean hourly pay:

  • Cambridgeshire Police 12.9% higher for women
  • Unilever UK limited 8.8% higher
  • Evans Cycles 6.5% higher
  • The British Museum 0% pay gap
  • UK armed forces 0.9% lower for women
  • Department for Communities and Local Government 5.9% lower
  • Rolls-Royce plc 6.3% lower
  • Florette UK and Ireland 7.7% lower
  • Virgin Media 9% lower
  • Oliver Bonas 9.6% lower
  • Premier Foods Group Limited 10% lower
  • The Home Office 10.1% lower
  • BBC 10.7% lower
  • Ladbrokes Coral Group plc 15% lower
  • Npower limited 19% lower
  • The Co-Operative Bank 30.3% lower
  • Virgin Money 32.5% lower
  • Easyjet 51.7% lower
  • Phase Eight 64.8% lower

Employers with low or no gender pay gaps include the British Museum (0%) and the armed forces (0.9%).

Firms paying women significantly more include mattress retailer Sweet Dreams – which said women were paid 46.4% more – and nursery business Yellow Dot, where women’s hourly rate is 35.4% more.

Yellow Dot, which runs 12 nurseries in Hampshire, said its team was “predominantly female” with the majority of the male team employed in “the lower skill areas of childcare”.

It said 7% of apprentices last year were men, compared with zero in 2016, while 41% of roles involving helping at children’s tea time were filled by men – compared with 25% in 2016.

The firm said it was “working hard” to encourage men to join.

“By encouraging young men into childcare at an early age and providing them with appropriate support, training and apprenticeships, we are confident that we can increase the number who stay in the childcare industry and hence increase their chances of promotion and increase remuneration,” it said.

Many financial firms feature in the list, including the Co-op Bank – where mean hourly pay is 30.3% lower for women.

Steven Pickering, the bank’s chief risk officer, said it was aiming to achieve a “material increase” in the number of women in senior roles.

Last year, a report published by the BBC found there was a 10.7% gender pay gap in favour of men.

Director general Lord Hall pledged to close the gap by 2020, saying the corporation should be “an exemplar of what can be achieved when it comes to pay, fairness, gender and representation”.

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