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 5th April each year, and that details of the organisation’s gender pay gap are published on an annual basis.

Gender pay gap shows the difference in average pay between women and men, regardless of their role, and is therefore different to ‘equal pay’.

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 2018

  • Our female hourly rate is 9.19% lower (mean) and 9.4% lower (median) – nearly half of the UK average of 17.9%
  • Our top salary quartile has 84.73% men and 15.27% women
  • Our upper middle salary quartile has 78.75% men and 21.25% women
  • Our lower middle salary quartile has 68.2% men and 31.8% women
  • Our lower salary quartile has 64.73% men and 35.27% women
  • Our female bonus pay is 167.34% higher (mean) and 4.11% higher (median)
  • 64% of men and 6.35% of women received bonus pay


What do the numbers say?

IMPORTANT POINT TO UNDERSTAND – Acorn is a recruitment agency, as such our reporting figures cover both direct employees (ie people who work at Acorn itself), as well as all those people we place into other organisations (our clients) every day - Acorn places up to 6,500 people each week, and makes up to 1,700 permanent placements annually into circa 850 different employers / client organisations.

As a recruitment organisation, the pay rates of the workers we place are therefore dictated to us by the clients (employers) we provide staffing to.

Because of this, our data is therefore not limited to comparing pay received by men and women performing the same roles; instead it covers every person, regardless of role.

The types of workers we place vary on a huge scale – from industrial and production workers through to senior executives and professionals with specialist expertise.

The gender pay gap reporting requirements, and as such, our analysis, means that we need to take into account all these roles, and at all levels – meaning not just of people working directly for the Acorn Group itself, but also to include those of the employers where we provide people to. 

As a national organisation supplying an expansive variety of workers throughout the UK, the 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.

To reiterate, 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 (77% male vs 23% female) women comprise 62% of our Acorn Group staff against 38% men.  

On a median basis, our gender pay gap is 9.4% - nearly half of the UK average of 17.9% (according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) - Office for National Statistics). 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.

Matt Southall, Group Managing Director


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