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Big ten leasing firms report gender pay gap

Date: 03 May 2018   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

BusinessCar's analysis of gender pay gap data reveals the ten largest leasing companies are in line with the finance and insurance industry's female pay deficit. Jack Carfrae reports.

Gender pay gap figures have revealed that the UK's top ten leasing companies pay men, on average, 21.53% more than women, according to data amassed by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and made available by the BBC. 

Further analysis by BusinessCar shows that the average across the ten largest leasing companies for which figures were available - or their parent companies, in the absence of the precise subsidiary - was almost identical to the finance and insurance sector's average male/female pay discrepancy of 22%; construction was the only industry with a larger average pay gap at 25%. 

ALD Automotive had the highest male-weighted pay gap at 37.8%, while Alphabet had the lowest at 10.6%. Arnold Clark Finance bucked the trend, paying men 15% less than women. 

According to the BBC, the average pay gap across all industries was 9.7% in favour of male employees, while 78% of businesses were found to have a pay gap that favoured men. 

All UK-based companies, charities and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees were legally required to submit a snapshot of their gender pay gap data from either 31 March (public sector organisations) or 5 April 2017 (private and voluntary sectors) to the EHRC by 4 April 2018. More than 10,000 businesses adhered, but 1,557 missed the deadline and may face legal action as a result. All qualifying organisations will now be required to publish these figures annually.  

A gender pay gap is not the same as unequal pay, where either male or female employees receive less money for identical jobs, as the law requires men and women to be paid the same for equivalent positions. Gender pay gaps are caused when either male or female employees account for a greater number of higher-paid roles within a company. Perceived levels of experience, and elements such as maternity leave and a subsequent reduction in hours, can contribute to such discrepancies. It is highly unlikely that any sizeable organisation would have a 0% gender pay gap.   

In response to the figures, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) issued BusinessCar with the following statement, "Although we are starting to see more women in fleet, there is still an issue of under-representation, so, clearly, more work needs to be done to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. 

"We are seeing increasing demand for transport to be delivered as a personalised service, and we know that rental and leasing companies are giving greater thought to how they meet the needs of female customers. Having more female employees is an obvious way to start, so thinking about attraction and retention strategies is key, and remuneration levels are an important factor."  

Andrew Bazeley, policy and insight manager at the Fawcett Society, a charity that campaigns for gender equality and women's rights, said businesses should consider their promotion policies, flexible working hours and approach to shared parental leave in order to close gender pay gaps. 

"Employers should look at how they promote within their organisations, ensure women are supported to advance and look particularly at how they enable people to work flexibly," he explained. 

"Women, more often than men still, have caring responsibilities and if, within your organisation, you can't rise to the top while also looking after kids, then it's going to be harder to close the gender pay gap.

"We would also advise them to look at whether they support men to take time off to care - whether they can do shared parental leave. There aren't many published figures, but the surveying that has been done suggests that take-up of shared parental leave is still too low, and businesses have an important role to play in promoting it and supporting their employees who want to take it."  

The Finance and Leasing Association did not respond to BusinessCar's request for comment. 


Top ten UK leasing companies' gender pay gaps* 

1.   ALD Automotive: 37.8%

2.   Hitachi Capital UK: 34.1%

3.   Lloyds Banking Group (Lex Autolease):32.8%

4.   Volkswagen Financial Services:32.6%

5.   Leaseplan:27.5%

6.   Arval:19.3%

7.   Zenith: 18.0%

8.   Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: 17.6% 

9.   Alphabet:10.6%

10. Arnold Clark Finance: Average man paid 15% less

Average: 21.53%

Source: BBC 

Figures weighted in favour of male employees unless otherwise stated

*Ranked by size of pay gap