Fourth Reveals Latest Hospitality Statistics On Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap between frontline workers in the UK hospitality industry has been revealed by Fourth, the leading global software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, with figures showing that – overall – women are being paid marginally more per hour than men.

The headline statistic, which is blended across the hotel, restaurant, QSR and pub sectors, has been mined from Fourth Analytics data and is based on the hourly pay of thousands of hospitality workers. It comes ahead of new government legislation next month requiring businesses with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay statistics – including any gap between men and women – by April 2018.

Looking across the hospitality categories of pubs, restaurants, hotels and QSR (quick-service restaurants) some distinct trends are in play. The statistics for the hourly-pay shows:

  • In the QSR sector women are paid £8.45 per hour and men are paid £8.29
  • In the hotel sector women receive £8.66 and men receive £8.44
  • In the pub sector men are paid £7.73 and women, £7.64
  • In the restaurant sector men get £7.85 and women, £7.50.

This means that the overall blended rate across hospitality sees women paid £7.84 per hour and men paid £7.82 per hour.

Mike Shipley, Analytics & Insight Solutions Director at Fourth, said: “The statistics clearly show that the gender pay gap, which favoured men by 21p in 2014, has not only disappeared, but now slightly favours women.

“This said, there are we think some key reasons for what we see across the main segments of hospitality. Our data shows that women in the restaurant sector are far more likely to work in front-of-house roles, which tend to pay slightly lower hourly rates as there is typically an opportunity to earn tips in addition to wages, whereas back-of-house roles, which tend to be carried out more by men, do not offer the same tips potential, and therefore hourly rates tend to be higher. We believe this is what is driving this result and should be factored in when figures are released by hospitality businesses over the coming year.”

Other statistics

  • The average pay of UK hospitality workers has now hit £7.83 – 33p higher than the NLW for over 25s, due to be introduced April 2017.
  • The actual pay of under 21s has continued to outstrip the NLW and now stands at £7.08 – £1.48 higher than the NLW for under 21s (£5.60).
  • Consequently, the pay gap between under 21s and over 21s is lower than £1 for the first time since the NLW was introduced.
  • QSR and restaurant sectors have managed the rising NLW best, with actual wages rising 72p in both sectors – mirroring the enforced 70p increase of the NLW.
  • Conversely, pubs and hotels have been disproportional hit by the rising NLW as sectors, with wages rising at higher rates of 101p and 116p, respectively. 

Mike added: “With actual pay significantly outstripping the legal minimum for all age thresholds, coupled with an eroding pay gap between under 21s and over 21s, businesses are clearly experiencing very strong employment-cost inflation.

“The pub and hotel sectors have felt the pinch worst, with wage costs rising at a higher rate than the increasing NLW. To mitigate costs, the pub sector initially employed more under 21s, which proved to be a quick fix as the pay gap between under 21s and over 21s has now dropped below £1 for the first time since the NLW was introduced.

“Impending Brexit negotiations mean further wage inflation pressures lie on the horizon. Despite assertions from Brexit secretary, David Davis, that Britain will not immediately ‘shut the door’ on migrant workers, the tightening of immigration regulation will certainly reduce the supply of workers, driving up labour costs.

“In this climate, it’s crucial that businesses find a way to counteract these rising wage pressures in a long-term sustainable fashion, by introducing productivity programmes and initiatives, such as smarter rota scheduling and driving the amount of revenue taken per worker / per labour hour.”