Phase Eight has defended its published gender pay gap saying the majority of its employees are women and work in stores, while male employees mainly work in head office roles.
Phase Eight has the biggest gender pay gap of the companies to have publish their statistics so far, according to The Telegraph, with means hourly pay for women is 65% lower than for men.
The retailer said male employees mainly work in its head office rather than in shops, where most of its staff are women.
In a statement on its website Phase Eight said: “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 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.”
From April, new rules introduced to tackle the gender pay gap will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish annual figures breaking down pay. Businesses must upload a report onto a government website, as well as their own, detailing: 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.