Some of the largest companies in the mobility sector have shown inconsistency in how they have responded to calls to reduce gender pay gaps in the UK, with some virtually closing gaps and others widening them.
Of the companies large enough to submit data to the government this week, four mobility firms have succeeded in reducing their gender pay gaps to varying degrees while four others have increased theirs.
Companies with more than 250 employees had to submit pay data by midnight last night and across the UK the median pay gap in favour of men reduced marginally from 9.7% last year to 9.6% this year.
In the UK nearly 80% of companies had a pay gap in favour of men and 14% in favour of women. The remaining 6% of firms reported no gap.
In the mobility industry, median pay gaps varied substantially between companies. The median pay gap is calculated by comparing the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and middle-ranking man in the same companies.
According to the government’s Gender Pay Gap Service, Acorn Mobility Services’ pay gap has gone from 7% in favour of men to 4% in favour of women, making it one of very few firms to have reversed the gap in favour of women.
Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare’s gap was relatively flat, increasing by 0.3% to 3% in favour of men, compared to last year. Its pay gap remains one of the lowest in the industry and in the country.
Medequip, which holds wheelchair services and community equipment contracts across the UK, has the narrowest gap of industry companies to have submitted their data.
It has all but closed its gender pay gap, reducing it from 5% in favour of women last year to just 0.3% in favour of women this year.
Millbrook Healthcare, which operates in the same field as Medequip, increased its pay gap by just under 1% to 8% in favour of women.
Stannah Stairlifts also increased its gap from 11% in favour of men to just shy of 16% in favour of men.
Motability Operations, which runs the mobility equipment hire scheme on behalf of the Motability charity, had the largest gap of the industry firms to submit their data.
It increased its gap from 23% in favour of men to 27% of men. The firm was at the centre of controversy last year after it was revealed its boss, Mike Betts, was paid around £2m in bonuses.
Meanwhile, Handicare Accessibility Ltd reduced its gap from 27% in favour of men to 20% in favour of men. It is one of the few large mobility firms to have a female at the helm.
Most retailers are too small to have to submit their pay data. But Lloyds Pharmacy, which runs Betterlife Healthcare, reported a gap of nearly 14% in favour of men, compared to just 3% in favour of men last year.
Gender pay gap statistics were first reported last year after the government made it compulsory for the largest companies to submit their data.
The move was largely welcomed but others have argued it is too general and is open to misinterpretation.
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