Blog | The best of intentions, but...

27 April 2018

Facilicom UK, like all businesses employing over 250 people, has recently had to publish gender pay gap reports. Ours are on the Facilicom and Trigion websites for those who are interested.

While I feel the intentions behind getting everyone to publish this information is laudable, unfortunately I think something has been lost in translation along the way. I believe most people would expect to see a direct comparison of people or groups of people doing the same role when considering gender pay parity. At both Facilicom cleaning services and Trigion security, for instance, we pay colleagues carrying out the same functions at the same rates.

The reporting for this gender pay gap process  though is rather more ‘broad brush’ and aims to show the difference in average pay – regardless of the type of work involved – for men and women across the whole business.

This means that despite our equal pay approach, the gender pay gap is rather different across our two businesses: Facilicom is shown to have a male bias (6.96%) and Trigion to have a female one (13.68%) in mean hourly full pay levels. This is even though Facilicom employs more women than men and the situation at Trigion is reversed. We have the same employment policies across both companies, so the respective gaps are due the number of men or women at more senior levels affecting the averages, rather than any gender pay bias. 

The gender pay gap reports are not therefore about ‘fair pay’ or pay inequality between the sexes as might be expected, but rather about fair opportunities to take on more senior appointments. We are an equal opportunities employer (and our gender pay gaps are much lower than the national average) but we need to be more innovative about ensuring a better balance of colleagues, especially at the most senior levels.

Jan Hein Hemke,
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland