Sodexo has become one of the first UK companies to publish its gender pay gap, pre-empting new government legislation that will require all large firms to be transparent about what they pay male and female employees.
The services and catering giant found a 7.65% difference between male and female gross hourly earnings, a number that compares favourably with the national average of 18.1%, as calculated by the ONS.
Under new laws due to come into force next year UK employers with 250 or more employees will have to calculate their gender pay gap from April 2017 and publish the details by April 2018.
Sodexo said the decision to publish the information was the first step in its plan to address pay gaps for different employee groups and follows a major audit into the salaries of Sodexo’s entire UK workforce of 38,500 people. A resultant project will also examine differences in salaries of Sodexo employees according to ethnicity, age and disability.
The company has set itself the aspirational target for 50% of women to occupy management positions by 2020 as part of a number of initiatives aimed at improving gender balance and reducing the pay gap even further.
“We believe that to address gender equality it is critical for businesses to be transparent about any pay gap that exists,” said Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland. “We are proud that Sodexo is one of the first companies of its size to announce its gender pay gap.”