Phase Eight has defended its 65 per cent difference in gender pay, saying the figures were “misleading” and did not did not reflect the “true story” of its business structure.
According The Telegraph, the fashion retailer has the biggest gender pay gap of the retailers to have so far revealed their figures, with average hourly pay for women 65 per cent lower than for men.
In a statement on its website, Phase Eight said the figures were misleading as most of its shop floor staff are women, while most of its head office staff are men.
“Whilst on first glance, our published gender pay gap figures suggest the average man has a higher hourly rate of pay, than the average female, this is misleading and does not reflect the true story and culture within the Phase Eight business,” the retailer said.
“The figures result from the fact that, as a women’s fashion retailer, the staff in our stores are overwhelmingly female, whilst our corporate head office staff (whose pay rates are typically higher) are more evenly split between men and women.
“This will cause significant disparity across our results where this imbalance is not taken into consideration.
“Similar issues will apply to other organisations in the women’s fashion retail sector.”
The news comes as the government prepares to implement news rules from April that businesses with more than 250 employees to publish annual figures breaking down pay.
As part of the process, businesses must upload a report onto a government website, as well as their own.
The report must detail mean and median gender pay gaps, the proportion of men and women receiving a bonus, and the proportion of men and women in each quartile of the company’s pay structure.