Gender Pay Gap
As a responsible employer, we are very aware of the significant role we play in the wellbeing of our people, the local communities in which we work and the environment. We are committed to make a positive contribution in these areas.
This commitment includes ensuring that our employees are treated with equality, are fairly rewarded, and work in an inclusive, supportive and enjoyable workplace.
What Is Gender Pay Gap Reporting?
Under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 all organisations with more than 250 employees are required to publish certain information on pay and gender, to improve transparency of differences in pay between men and women, and ultimately to eradicate gender inequality in society.
The information in this report relates to AFI-Uplift Limited (‘AFI’), the predominant employer within the AFI Group, and the only group company with more than 250 employees.
This report reflects actual data at the ‘2022 Snapshot Date’ of 5th April 2022. As with any business, overall statistics can be distorted by senior employees including board members. As such, where relevant, we have also presented information to exclude directors.
We recognise that the industries we operate in are unbalanced and attract greater numbers of male than female candidates. Although we are committed to impartial recruitment processes, and continue to implement training, wellbeing programmes and flexible benefit schemes which attract candidates of both genders, there remains more that both AFI and our industry can do.
We will continue to publish our gender pay figures annually but, more importantly, we will continue to seek further opportunities, both from our own actions and from collaborations within our industry, to increase diversity and inclusivity across the business.
AFI’s Gender Pay Summary
Proportion of women and men receiving a bonus
Overview of Approach
We collected our data on 5th April 2022, when our workforce consisted of 240 men and 61 women.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, our business was heavily impacted by the use of flexible furlough arrangements. Because furloughed employees were required to be excluded under reporting rules, and the majority of impacted staff were site-based and therefore in typically higher paid roles, this heavily distorted our gender pay gap reporting in these years.
As such, 2022 is the first reporting period since the pandemic that we present meaningful gender pay gap data. Furthermore, since reporting was not required for 2019, we believe that 2018, the last available data before the pandemic, is the most appropriate benchmark for this year’s results.
Review of Gender Pay Data
AFI’s median pay gap has reduced from 10.4% in 2018 to 9.5% in 2022. Excluding directors, the gap has further reduced from 10.4% in 2018 to 9.2% in 2022. Furthermore, our pay gap tracks below the national median average of 14.9% (Office for National Statistics report 2022) and the construction industry of 23.7% (CIPD report 2022).
We remain confident that no bias exists in AFI where men and women undertake the same role in the same part of the country. The fact that our data reports a gap, reflects the weighting of gender across different roles within our business and, specifically, that higher-paid roles, particularly site-based roles such as service engineers, plant operatives and HGV drivers, are within our industry traditionally dominated by male applicants.
However, we recognise that this is an industry challenge that we must continue to address. We welcome female applicants for all roles within our business and we will continue to work hard to make our site-based roles more attractive to women.
Review of Bonus Pay Data
During the COVID-19 pandemic we, along with many other businesses, suspended all incentive schemes which has led to a reduced volume of employees receiving a bonus and as a result has heavily distorted the metrics. These individual schemes were reinstated during 2022.
During the year under review only eight individuals received a bonus, and only two outside of the director group. This small volume distorts the reported metrics; however, we note that the highest bonus was earnt by a woman and the bonus gap is heavily weighted towards women.
We acknowledge that the historically male-dominated nature of our industry has led to a tendency for the most experienced people in many areas of the business to be men. This is reflected in our director group where currently ten out of eleven are male. This skews the reported pay gap significantly, but also highlights the opportunity for further diversity.
AFI actively promotes the progression by women in any role. We continue to support the development and advancement of people irrespective of gender and, as a result of the management pipeline training that we offer, we expect to see women continuing to progress to senior roles within our business.
It will take some years to see a substantial shift in the gender weighting of the site-based roles both in our business and across our industry as a whole, but we recognise these challenges and our responsibility to drive positive change. We remain committed to equal opportunities for all, without barrier to promotion and progression, and to gender equality.
I confirm that the information within this report is accurate.
David McNicholas, Chief Executive
3rd April 2023