The Gender Pay Gap | Koh UK Ltd

The Gender Pay Gap | Koh UK Ltd

At Koh Thai, we represent a fusion of East meets West, both on our menus and in our restaurants. This richly diverse environment is also at the heart of our inclusive and supportive culture. When it comes to progression and opportunity for development, Koh Thai are second to none, named as the #8 UK Best Employer in Hospitality 2017.

Following a new UK Government initiative, companies with over 250 employees must disclose their gender pay gap for the year ending April 2017. As part of our commitment to the tackling the Gender Pay Gap not just in the hospitality industry, but nationwide, Koh Thai welcome the legislation and offer full cooperation with our following disclosure and a little education on the issue.

Let’s start with the basics: What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women. The figure is expressed as a proportion of men’s earnings. It looks at all jobs at all levels across the entire company.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the gender pay gap for the UK is currently just over 18% meaning that on average, men earn just over 18% more than women across the UK economy.

There are many factors which cause the gender pay gap, from cultural stereotypes about men and women, to how businesses are structured.

To comply with the legislation, 9,000 UK employers will need to publish the following before April 2018:

  • The average gender pay gap as a mean average and as a median average
  • Average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average and as a median average
  • Proportion of males receiving a bonus payment, and the proportion of females receiving a bonus payment
  • Proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay (Fourth Hospitality)

How did we do at Koh?

  • Koh Thai report a mean average in the Gender Pay Gap of 8.3%
  • The median average is 4%
  • The mean average bonus gender pay gap is 40.78%
  • The medium average bonus gender pay gap is 26.88%
  • The proportion of males receiving a bonus payment is 8.8%
  • The proportion of females receiving a bonus payment is 7%
  • The proportion of males and females when divided into four group ordered from lowest to highest pay is
    • Upper quartile
    • Male 54.5%
    • Female 45.5%
    • Upper middle quartile
    • Male 58.4%
    • Female 41.6%
    • Lower middle quartile
    • Male 36.4%
    • Female 63.6%
    • Lower quartile
    • Male 44.7%
    • Female 55.7%

Here at Koh we pride ourselves on the fact that 90% of our managers have come organically though our Trainee Assistant Manager programme, the application process is open to all staff and the take up is fairly evenly spread across genders. Whilst we are aware that there is a gender pay gap within Koh this is not through any biases on our part. The industry and in our cuisine in particular the majority of head chefs are male due to the upper body strength required to operate our Wok’s, this is something that a business we are working on to ensure all kitchen staff as cross trained to allow all chefs the opportunity to progress with our kitchens.

How’s everyone else looking?

The national equivalent figure for the ‘mean’ (also known as average) gender pay gap currently stands at 18.4%.

In the hospitality industry, the overall blended rate across hospitality sees women paid £7.84 per hour and men £7.82 per hour (0.3% gap). In the restaurant sector men get £7.85 and women, £7.50 (4.5% gap).

What does this mean?

  • So, for every £100 that a man earns in the UK, on average, women receive £81.60
    • If this equivalent was on a £25,000 salary for a male, a female would receive £4,600 less
  • In the restaurant industry, women would receive £95.50 in comparison
    • If this equivalent was on a £25,000 salary for a male, a female would receive £1,125 less

Please note: This is not a measure of equal pay. Unequal pay for men and women doing the same job has been illegal in the UK for over 40 years (see Equal Pay Act 1970).

This data can therefore be skewed by a greater number of men in more senior positions (therefore receiving higher pay). That said, by no means does knowing the cause of the gap excuse the gender imbalance.

“The drivers of gender imbalance in very senior management positions are as a result of complex, historical and societal bias. However, we are proud to say that women currently account for just over 60% of our Head Office Team (as of March 2018). ”

To account for this skew, we are also asked to review the ‘median’ figure to remove the skew of any extremely high paid employees. This is the ‘middle’ figure, when all wages are lined up from smallest to largest. The median gap is the difference between this middle figure for females. The Office for National Statistics reported that this gap (based on median hourly earnings for full-time workers) currently stands at 9.1%. The first report in 1997 measured the gap at 17.4%!

What challenges have we come across in Hospitality?

Another skew is the exclusion of Tips in this data. In analytics collected by Fourth Hospitality across 25,000 employees, excluding payments from tips and TRONC suggests a pay gap favour towards males. However, by including these, the gap is narrowed to either even, or slightly in favour of females. This is generally because of a greater number of females in junior roles and thus, receiving tips.

So, what’s next to address the Gender Pay Gap issue?

According the the Guardian (28/02/2018):

“There are no plans to punish companies that have a wide gender pay gap, but the government has stated that it will publish sector-specific league tables, highlighting companies failing to address pay differences between men and women.

Greater pressure may come from companies’ own employees and scrutiny from competitors and in the media.”

Regardless of the new legislation on gender pay, our senior team at Koh are truly passionate about a wider picture of ‘equal opportunity for all’, regardless of gender, race, nationality, age, education, background or otherwise.

We reward hard work, positive attitudes and a job well done wherever it is deserved. As such, we have an incredibly low staff turnover rate for a hospitality company and continue to receives recognition and awards for our Training & Development Programmes.

A read of any of our Manager profiles, will show you just how far each and every manager has come, through our Koh Academy and we continue to pave the way for more successors from the restaurant floor, right up to our senior team in Head Office.