Virgin Money has recorded a mean gender pay gap of 36% in April 2016 and a median pay gap of 39% during the same period, according to its 2016 annual report

Virgin Money has recorded a mean gender pay gap of 36% in April 2016 and a median pay gap of 39% during the same period, according to its 2016 annual report.

Commitment

In 2016, Virgin Money pledged to achieve a 50:50 gender balance across the organisation by 2020, as part of its commitment to the Treasury's 'Women in Finance Charter'. The Charter requests organisations within the financial services sector to commit to increasing the representation of women in senior management positions by 2021. Virgin Money has implemented measures to meet this target, including:

  • The introduction of a flexible-working rota to increase job sharing opportunities
  • Allowing staff to work remotely at least one day a week
  • Upgrading the IT systems to better enable flexible working

These measures are considered to have had a positive impact, with the percentage of women holding senior management roles within the organisation increasing from 18% to 22% between 2015 and 2016. In addition, women constituted 31% of Virgin Money’s executive committee and their direct reports in January 2017.

Nevertheless, Virgin Money's latest annual report shows that there remains a significant gender pay gap within the organisation, attributed largely to the under-representation of female employees in senior leadership roles and the under-representation of men in more junior positions, and more will have to be done to close this gap.

Reporting Obligations

By voluntarily publishing its findings, Virgin Money is one step ahead of the government's new regulations for private sector employers being introduced on 6 April 2017 which require organisations with 250 or more employees to capture and publish data on the following:

  • Difference in mean pay between genders (expressed as a %)
  • Difference in median pay between genders (expressed as a %)
  • Difference in mean bonus payments between genders (expressed as a %)
  • Difference in median bonus payments between genders (expressed as a %)
  • Proportion of men and women in the workforce that received a bonus
  • Number of men and women in each quartile of the pay range

The government hopes the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 will help employers understand the gender pay gap and encourage organisations to consider any steps they can take to further reduce any gap and inequality.

Best Practice

Employers should be ready for the new Regulations and take preparatory steps to ensure they are clear on what gender pay information must be reported.

It is interesting to note that whilst Virgin Money have reported a relatively significant pay gap, they have been able to demonstrate the measures they are taking to address it. This highlights how useful it will be for organisations to understand whether there is a pay gap early and take steps to mitigate it before the need to report in April 2018. In this way, any reported pay gap can be set in the wider context of the steps the organisation is taking.

For more detail on the Regulations please see our FAQs.