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First batch of hospitality companies publish gender pay gap details revealing ‘clear issue’

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First batch of hospitality companies publish gender pay gap details revealing ‘clear issue’

Hospitality companies including the Dorchester, the Royal Garden hotel and Compass have revealed their gender pay gap data.

They are among the first of 530 companies to release the data, which must be published by all organisations with 250 or more employees by April.

Holly Addison, head of travel, leisure and hospitality at executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson, said the early data release showed a “clear issue”.

The five red-AA-star, 394-bedroom Royal Garden hotel and five red-AA-star 250-bedroom Dorchester hotels, both in London, reported that the mean hourly pay rate for women is 16% and 15% lower than men’s, respectively.

Jonathan Lowrey, general manager of the Royal Garden hotel, said: “We are aware of the gender pay gap figures. The discrepancy in our figures is due to a statistical skew produced by the ratio of male to female employees. As a business we are absolutely committed to ensuring pay is the same for both men and women at every level.”

A report published by the Dorchester says the main reason behind the gap was the higher representation of women in junior roles with men occupying more  senior leadership roles.

It said: “This is our first year reporting our gender pay gap and we know that we need to further explore the numbers and identify what actions are required to ensure that we make real progress to close the pay gap that is evident in our industry.

“Building on our values, we will continue to work with all of our employees, and regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation, provide them with opportunities to build their confidence and help them in reaching their full potential.”

Food and support services provider Compass has reported a mean gender pay gap of 17.2%.

Managing director Chris Garside said: “Compass Group UK’s median gender pay gap is 12.3%, which is better than the UK’s median gender pay gap of 18.2%.

“However, we recognise that there is more we can do. Our gender pay gap reflects the average paid to men and women across our UK business. It is not a comparison of pay rates for men and women doing work of equal value.

“While women make up the majority of our UK workforce and a significant proportion of senior positions, more of our most senior (and therefore highest-paid) people are currently male, a factor that influences both our gender pay and bonus gaps.”

The five-AA-star, 334-bedroom Celtic Manor resort in Newport also revealed a 12.9% gender pay gap favouring men.

A Celtic Manor spokesperson said: “The Celtic Manor Resort is committed to the principles of equal pay for all of our employees and has always been a workplace where people can progress in their career, regardless of their gender, background or education.

“While women occupy many leading positions at Celtic Manor, in common with most UK companies, a higher proportion of top executives are male and this is the most significant reason for our gender pay gap of 12.9%, which is significantly below the national average of 18.1%. At the median point of our pay scale, there is no gender pay gap and we are confident that men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across our business.”

According to the figures, women’s hourly pay rates are 25.1% lower than men’s at school caterer Alliance in Partnership (AiP). However Paul Rogers, managing director of AiP, said: “At AiP we pay the same rate for employees irrespective of gender.

“Within our business, the differing levels of pay reflect the level of seniority, qualifications, responsibility and functions of different roles. For example, a showcase chef is paid differently to a catering manager and senior operations manager’s pay is different to that of a junior operations manager. If we employ a man and a woman both with the same role and experience, their pay is the same.”

London Caterer Vacherin posted a mean gender pay gap of 10.3%, in favour of men.

Commercial director Zoë Watts said: “We’re proud to say we have a 50/50 gender split for both our front of house and senior management staff.

“We are committed to paying all of our employees the London living wage and our hourly rates are irrespective of gender and instead focus on specific roles.

“However our kitchens do tend to have more male employees, which is indicative of the industry and it is this predominance of males in the more senior chef roles that is responsible for the reported pay gap.”

Hospitality recruitment expert Addison said: “The way the data is being reported, it can be quite difficult to interpret, and this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it shows there is still a clear issue. The hourly pay is clearly a big concern.

“I wouldn’t have said there should be a lot of reason why there should be disparity at that level, and that’s where it’s got to start. Just by looking at what’s coming through already there’s clearly an issue that needs addressing.

“A lot depends on how much it has been an agenda for an organisation until now. If this is the first time they’re really looking at this in detail then there’s going to be a significant disparity, but it’ll be obvious if a company has been working towards this as an agenda for some time on their own. But I think there’s still going to be a significant gap. Clearly there’s a long way to go and more transparency is needed to address this.”

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