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Men earn more in leading catering firms

Eight out of the UK’s 10 leading contract caterers have reported a gender pay gap of more than 10% in hourly wages, according to a new Footprint analysis.

The investigation, to be published in full in Monday’s Footprint Premium, also identified significant imbalance in the proportion of women who feature among the top 25% of companies’ earners and the proportion of female employees who are paid a bonus compared with their male counterparts.

The two market leaders, Compass and Sodexo, reported median gaps of 12.3% and 12.6% respectively in what women across their organisations are paid versus male employees. Both companies cited an imbalance in men occupying senior positions as a key reason for the figures, which compare the pay across all roles rather than that of individuals in comparable roles.

OCS had the lowest median pay gap at 5.1% while Aramark had the highest at 34.1%. Just one in five of Aramark’s top earners were women; however this figure rose to 63.5% for the company’s Campbell Catering business, which reported no gender pay gap.

Eight of the top 10 firms reported median pay gaps below the figure for the whole UK economy – which was 18.4% in 2017 according to the ONS.

An analysis by the Guardian, meanwhile, showed the foodservice and accommodation sector as a whole came the closest to equality of any British industry sector with a pay gap of just 1% between men and women.

The government required all UK businesses with over 250 employees to submit their gender pay gap data by a deadline of midnight on April 4th.