Sodexo has revealed an overall gender pay gap of 7.65% after carrying out an audit of more than 38,500 employees across the company.
The gender pay gap is a measure designed to show the difference between the gross hourly earnings for all men in an organisation and the gross hourly earnings for all women.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the national gender pay gap in the UK stands at 18.1%.
Sodexo has published figures five months ahead of the launch of new government legislation for transparency into gender pay equality.
The foodservice and facilities management company has found a 7.65% difference between male and female gross hourly earnings, based on its employees' median gross hourly earnings, excluding overtime and bonuses.
Under new laws, employers in the UK with 250 or more employees will have to calculate their gender pay gap from April 2017 and publish the details by April 2018.
Publishing these initial findings is the first step in Sodexo's plan to address pay gaps for different employee groups including casual employees.
The audit and subsequent project will not only look into gender, but other characteristics such as ethnicity, age and disability.
Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: "We believe that to address gender equality it is critical for businesses to be transparent about any pay gap that exists. We are proud that Sodexo is one of the first companies of its size to announce its gender pay gap.
"Whilst our gender pay gap is significantly smaller than the national figure, we are confident in our ability, through pro-active initiatives, to reduce it even further."
Sodexo operates across more than 2,000 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, and justice and defence sectors.
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