In line with the Gender Pay Regulations, 2019 is the second year that Birketts LLP, along with all other organisations with 250 or more employees are obliged to analyse and report on our Gender Pay Gap on an annual basis.
We have always been committed to diversity and inclusion and even before the introduction of the regulations we had invested heavily in a firm-wide programme to address any gender diversity issues. This programme is still ongoing and we are keenly aware of the importance of a diverse workforce and continue to foster and promote this. The regulations now provide us with an additional tool to enable us to monitor our progress and while it is still very early days, the results are promising.
It is worth clarifying that the pay gap measures the difference between average hourly earnings for men and women. It is not a comparison of pay rates for men and women in the same role. We are confident that men and women are paid equally for equal work here at Birketts, but we do intend to verify this with an Equal Pay audit.
Inevitably, the figures do not show the whole picture. Like many law firms, we have a large secretarial community who account almost a fifth of employees. This cohort happen to be made up entirely of women, which inevitably skews our figures.
We are proud to offer a staff profit share scheme to all employees with the relevant length of service, allowing our employees to be rewarded for the firm’s overall success. The bonus is paid as a percentage of basic salary which impacts our bonus gap, as does the fact that 94% of our part time workers are female, so their bonus has been pro-rated.
Notwithstanding the above, our figures have improved in all areas, indicating that we are already making progress in narrowing the gender pay gap. In fact, our mean gender pay gap bonus figure has reduced by 17.1% showing a significant improvement.
Our female Partner population has increased by over 40% in just 12 months and as of April 2019, 27% of our Partner population are female.
The work of our diversity committee is continuing and the firm is now working with external consultants to identify underlying diversity themes and addressing these. Our Agile Working Policy is gaining momentum and we continue to promote the opportunity for employees to take advantage of more flexible working practices.
Despite the above, and while our most recent results are promising, we know that we still have more work to do. Given the gender make-up of our secretarial community, it is perhaps inevitable that we have something of a pay gap. However, as a firm we want to ensure that we keep up the work to narrow this gap and that we continue to provide opportunities for all employees to fulfil their ambitions within the firm and reach their full potential.