It is a legislative requirement that all private and voluntary sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales, with 250 or more employees, calculate their gender pay and gender bonus gaps as they are on 5 April each year, and that details of the organisation’s gender pay gap are published on an annual basis.

Our approach to gender equality

Here at the Acorn Group we are committed to promoting diversity, inclusivity and equality in all areas and have a range of measures in place to support and implement this.

Our principles are:

  • Top-level ownership -We lead from the top, and the Acorn Board is fully committed to the ownership and sponsorship of gender equality. This includes holding overall responsibility to support and cascade new and existing policies supporting diversity, inclusivity and equality at Acorn to our colleagues.
  • Not just once a year- We continually monitor both our existing workforce and applicants for roles (including internal promotions), making sure we take appropriate and tangible action to address any imbalances as soon as they are identified.
  • Best practice.We routinely benchmark against comparable sectors to evaluate our own performance to ensure best practice.
  • Learning and development - We regularly conduct full analysis against training requirements relating to the importance, understanding and management of equality, diversity and inclusivity for our colleagues.
  • Investment -We regularly hold discussions with our key stakeholders to discuss ongoing learning requirements and secure budget for training design and delivery.
  • Accountability - Objectives relating to fair and inclusive working practices form an integral part of interim and annual performance reviews throughout the year, and are a key part of our employee responsibilities.
Our Gender Pay Gap – snapshot date 5 April 2020

  • Our female hourly rate is 8.6% lower (mean) and 3.33% lower (median)
  • Our top salary quartile has 80.57% men and 19.43% women
  • Our upper middle salary quartile has 73.12% men and 26.88% women
  • Our lower middle salary quartile has 58.65% men and 41.35% women
  • Our lower salary quartile has 68.04% men and 31.96% women
  • Our female bonus pay is 33.54% lower (mean) and 4.67% higher (median)
  • 1.74% of men and 6.62% of women received bonus pay
What do the numbers say?

As an organisation Acorn places some 6,500 people into circa 1,200 different client companies each week and makes up to 1,700 permanent placements every year.

As a recruitment organisation, the pay rates of the workers we place are dictated to us by the clients we engage with. The types of workers we place vary on a huge scale – from industrial and production workers through to senior executives and highly-skilled specialist consultants.

The gender pay gap reporting requirements, and as such, our analysis, means that we need to take into account all roles at all levels – meaning not just within the Acorn Group itself, but also to include those of our clients too. 

Because of this, our data is not limited to comparing pay received by men and women performing the same roles.

As a national organisation supplying an expansive variety of workers across the UK, our pay rates are also influenced by a range of external factors including geographical variations and demand against specific skills shortages in specific areas, and as such are subsequently unrelated to gender.

Gender neutral by design

Because of these external variations, the gender pay gap report statistics are not truly indicative of what the Acorn Group pays our ‘internal’ staff.

Our approach to pay is gender neutral by design, meaning that men and women who do equivalent jobs are paid equally. As a company, we are able to regularly review and analyse our internal employee pay to make sure that men and women are treated equally when performing the same role.

It should be noted that the gender pay gap shows the difference in average pay between women and men, regardless of their role, and is therefore different to ‘equal pay’. As such, we are therefore confident that we do not have equal pay issues.

Committed to equality

Our initial analysis shows that gender pay and bonus gaps are a reflection of our wider organisational structure.

We have strong female representation throughout our internal workforce; although proportionally more men than women are directly assigned to our clients (72% male vs 28% female) women comprise 59% of our Acorn Group staff against 41% men.  

Our gender pay gap from both a mean and median perspective has improved since our last reporting, which is a great achievement.  However it should be noted, that almost the entire gender pay gap noted above can be attributed to our wider workforce profile, including pay relative to our clients.

Here at Acorn we’re committed to developing a deeper understanding and analysis of the reasons behind the gender pay gap, and where appropriate, defining and implementing appropriate actions such as the ones above to help us continue to promote equality and diversity as an employer.

I confirm that the information and figures in our disclosure are accurate and have been calculated in accordance with gender pay gap reporting requirements as outlined in the legislation and accompanying guidance.

Bernard Ward, Group Managing Director

For further information on Acorn's Gender Pay Gap Report, contact us today.
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