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Female employees at Childbase Partnership are paid on average 1.1 per cent more than their male counterparts, new data suggests.
The employee-owned company, which operates 41 day nurseries, is bucking the trend in the early years sector where men continue to be paid more.
The published data follows a 3.7 per cent pay increase for Childbase Partnership nursery practitioners in November, and the company’s January Partnership Dividend payment of up to £680 given to all employees irrespective of their role.
Virginia Mead-Herbert, managing director of Childbase Partnership, said: “With higher than average hourly rates at Childbase Partnership, which include apprentice rates of £5.55 an hour, these results are entirely consistent with our expectations. Equally, we are operating in a highly gendered sector so our results should reflect this key fact.
“Childbase Partnership is a meritocracy where anyone with skill and imagination, irrespective of gender, may aspire to reach the highest levels of pay and responsibility within the company."
New gender pay reporting legislation has required large companies, including nursery groups with more than 250 employees, to reveal the extent of pay differences between men and women for the first time.
Nationwide, three-quarters of companies have been shown to pay men more than women, with the average pay gap 18.4 per cent in favour of men.
However, Childbase Partnership, Tops Day Nurseries and Treetops Nurseries Ltd have been found to pay women more, on average, than men.
Yellow Dot in Hampshire, sold recently to Bright Horizons, was one of the companies to most significantly defy the gender pay gap trend, paying women 80.6 per cent more than men (median average).
Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening, said: "We have more women in work, more women-led businesses than ever before and the highest proportion of women on the boards of our biggest companies. This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1 per cent – but we want to eliminate it completely.
"Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business. I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements."
To search gender pay gap data, go to https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/