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Gender Pay Gap Written Statement

Assessment of Data Analysed for period 03.04.23 to 07.04.23 and submitted to Government Equalities Office February 2024

The Sterling Group of Companies are fully compliant with all relevant legislation and wholly committed in our duty to report our Gender Pay Gap findings for the year end 2023.

As outlined by the Government, the Gender Pay Gap is an analysis of the difference between the average (mean or median) earnings of men and women across a workforce. From 2017, employers who have 250 or more employees on a selected date each year must comply with regulations on gender pay gap reporting. Gender pay gap calculations are based on employer payroll data drawn from the specific date each year. The directive is to include the snapshot date of 5th April 2023 and as the vast majority of payment processing is on a weekly basis, we have selected the full week ends on Friday 07th April 2023.

As a service provider encompassing of Umbrella and Self-Employed payment route models, the subjects that we are reporting on are legally employed by our Sterling Umbrella companies or contracted down a self-employed route, which by their nature, do not lend themselves to the typical pay structure of a salaried individual. The individuals will usually source their work through a recruitment agency and Sterling will processes payments for these employees upon receipt of timesheet data for work carried out (at a specified rate of hourly pay received from the agency) on assignment. These assignments can range from one day to twelve months and beyond.

Most of the subjects we report on are only paid intermittently and for very short assignments leading to distortion of the figures and therefore almost impossible in most cases to reflect a true figure of someone’s annual pay. Furthermore, distinguishing between what may be classed as ‘Full Pay Relevant Employees’ and ‘Relevant Employees’ is not possible due to the varied number of hours paid per individual in a pay period (many contractors may be paid just once through an umbrella company for varying amount of hours). In order to produce any sort of meaningful data, for the purposes of our reporting therefore, we have classed all subjects that were paid in the pay period as ‘Full Pay Relevant Employees’ and used their hourly rate regardless of hours worked.

As stated in previous years’ GPG reporting, ‘Bonuses’ are in the minority through an Umbrella company and cannot necessarily be identified as ‘Bonuses’ in the traditional sense (they may be enhanced rates of pay out of our control, reimbursed expenses from the end client or similar). Furthermore, if any of these types are pay are received and identified, then these do not necessarily relate to a period of time upon which they were employed by or contracted to, the Sterling Group of companies. As a payroll provider, we are not necessarily informed by the recruitment agency whether a rate of pay to be processed to an individual relates to standard hours, overtime, includes any bonus etc. therefore making an accurate distinction may not be possible in all cases. Any bonuses identified have however been removed to improve accuracy.

April 2023 Results Analysis

Sterling Umbrella, Sterling Rail and Sterling CIS are part of a leading payment solutions group of companies specialising in the construction and rail industry which is very heavily male dominated (Sterling has no control nor preference over the gender of contractors engaging with our payment solutions). Our data therefore returns a very low percentage of female contractors (approx.3.44% of the workforce) resulting in issues if one attempts to make direct comparisons of pay between genders. Even though the gender ratio is still overwhelmingly male, our year on year results have again continued the trend where the female ratio has increased overall and currently amounts to over twice the proportion found in the data analysis of April 2018 (females then accounted for 1.5%).

Despite their relatively low numbers, females continue to dominate the average (mean) hourly rate statistics with £28.28 per hour compared to the male average hourly rate of £22.75 (the female dominance in this sector has seen a notable increase from 4.46% in 2020 to 24.31% in 2023). Over the last 5 years, the Female Mean Rate has increased an astonishing £16.33 or 134%!. Following analysis, the median hourly rate figures also show females return higher median rate of £18.07 compared to the median male rate of £18.

Overall, although the percentage of female employees has remained consistently low within a largely male dominated industry, many female employees appear to hold positions of higher management which sees their mean (average) pay rate consistently return as the higher figure. Also consistent year on year are the Female Quartile Results which show the higher proportions of the workforce in both Q1 and Q4 (with lower proportions in between).

This statement confirms that the published information is accurate at the time of publishing and is signed and authorised by Nicholas Simon Percival, Director (February 2024).

Download Gender Pay Gap results