Under new legislation that came into force in April 2017 UK employers with 250 or more employees must now publically report certain calculations which help to show whether they have a gender pay gap in their company.
The Bright Horizons Profile, April 2017
As at 5th April 2017 Bright Horizons had two legal entities in the UK – Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Asquith Nurseries - and we are required to produce and report separate data for each legal entity.
As an employer within care and education our workforce reflects the sector, being predominantly female. Indeed nearly 95% of our total workforce are female Early Years practitioners, educating and caring for children in our 300 plus nurseries across the UK.
What does the data tell us?
The data indicates that we do have a gender pay gap at Bright Horizons. The largest contributor to the gap is the gender profile of the different types of roles within our organisation. The vast majority of our colleagues are Early Years practitioners working in our nurseries, predominantly female, paid sector market rates reflecting their experience and qualifications. Within our support office, there is a higher percentage of male colleagues and salaries reflect market expectations for the sector appropriate to the team function, such as for example those in the legal, accounting or HR professions.
There are also additional factors. At Bright Horizons the benefits we offer include measures to help colleagues balance their family commitments, such as salary sacrifice for childcare vouchers or nursery fees, as well as options for flexible working. . Salary sacrifice effectively leads to a reduced basic pay once it has been applied and the salaries considered for the purposes of this report are the net salaries after the “sacrificed” elements are taken out. The gender split in those utilising salary sacrifice is over 93% female. Similarly, 40% of our female workforce select part-time working as their preferred option (compared with 3% of men) and since bonuses are calculated on base salary this also has a noticeable impact on the difference between average male and female bonus payments.
At Bright Horizons we have a range of bonus schemes and our bonus gap is reflective of the breadth of these. They include lower financial value, non-performance related schemes, including a candidate ‘referral’ bonus which has a value of approximately £500. This scheme rewards individuals who recommend a candidate who is successfully recruited into the company and it is available to all colleagues. It is most often claimed by nursery-based colleagues, who are predominantly female. Our performance-related bonuses that are available to over 300 nursery managers and some support office roles tend to be of a relatively higher financial value and are more reflective of a mixed gender profile in these roles, which influences the overall gender gap.
What have we learned from the data?
Bright Horizons is committed to fair pay for everyone, irrespective of gender. Although there are some very practical reasons why we currently have a gender pay gap, we are focused on ensuring that we take all appropriate actions to reduce it. We are developing plans to close the gap, taking into account the nature of our business and the make-up of our workforce, with a view to seeing improvements in future years.
- Throughout 2017 we continued to align Asquith and Bright Horizons policies and procedures. One positive impact of this alignment will be that we will have consistency in pay and bonus schemes across all colleagues.
- We are committed to gender equality and are delighted to share stories from two of our senior female leaders who epitomise what is possible at Bright Horizons to encourage and develop other female leaders of the future.
- A key goal for us is to increase the number of men working as practitioners in our nurseries to provide children with role models of caring adults of both genders. This factor is not specific to Bright Horizons but is true for most organisation in our sector. Success in this goal will have the additional benefit of positively impacting our gender pay gap. We would also like to encourage the men who work for us to take advantage of arrangements which could support them with their caring responsibilities (such as salary sacrifice for childcare, flexible working etc), and which are currently taken up far more widely by female colleagues. This is very important to us as a champion of family-friendly workplaces, and will also positively impact our gender gap reporting.
We consider ourselves to be a learning organisation; we value our colleagues and treat them with respect. Getting gender pay right for an organisation in the early years sector is a challenge, but one that will remain high on our agenda. We are committed to closing the gender pay gap as much as possible and believe this will be achieved by providing positive choices for everyone and encouraging more men into the profession.
Bright Horizons Family Solutions has two legal entities with at least 250 employees (as at date of snapshot data 5 April 2017): Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Asquith Day nurseries. Under the regulations we are required to report our gender pay gap for each of these entities:
We confirm that Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Asquith Day Nurseries gender pay gap calculations are accurate and meet the requirements of the Regulations.
James Tugendhat Lydia Hopper
Managing Director General Manager