British Gas has the largest gender pay gap of any firm within the UK energy industry's big six, paying its male employees an average of 49% more than its female staff
As firms around the UK rush to meet tonight’s midnight deadline for reporting their gender pay gap data, the stats from its six largest energy companies make for illuminating reading.
More than 9,000 business in the country’s private sector have reported their figures ahead of the deadline and more than 78% have a pay gap that favours men, with 1,000 yet to provide their data.
Britain’s electricity and gas sector, specifically, paid men an average of 14% more than women, slightly more than the 10% average for all companies in the nation.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said: “Gender pay gap reporting is not optional. It is a legal requirement and there’s simply no excuse for employers failing to comply with the regulations this year.
“We will be taking enforcement action against all organisations that have not filed by the deadline requiring them to report immediately.
“Employers that don’t report on time not only risk enforcement action and potential financial penalties; they are letting down the women who work for them.
“They should be prepared for an unhappy workforce and potential reputational damage.”
Here we take a closer look at the difference in how British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power and SSE pay their male and female employees, and whether they have improved on last year’s performance.
UK energy’s gender pay gap
British Gas, which is the biggest energy supplier in Britain with more than 15 million customers, had a substantial gender pay gap of 49.6% in favour of men – considerably more than last year’s 44.1%.
For every £10 earned by the average man in its employ, the average women walks away with £5.04.
EDF energy is the only member of the big six to reduce its gender pay gap, going from 31.5% in favour of male staff last year to 25.4% in 2019.
For every £10 the average male employee earns at the company, which is the supplier of choice for more than 5.6 million people in the UK, the average women takes home £7.46.
E.ON UK, which supplies more than 4.6 million customers, increased its gender pay gap from 11.6% in favour of male employees in 2018 to 17% this year.
For every £10 the average man earns, the women make £8.30.
Also widening its gender pay gap over the past year, npower, which has roughly 6.5 million customers, increased from paying its men an average of 13% more than its women last year to 18% this year.
For every £10 its average male employee takes home, the average women earns £8.20.
Serving more than 5.3 million customers across the UK, Scottish Power also widened the gap between how much it pays it male and female employees, albeit slightly, increasing from a 21.9% male bias in 2018 to 22.7% this year.
For every £10 its average male member of staff earns, the average women is paid £7.73.
SSE’s gender pay gap has also increased marginally, going from 19.3% in favour of men in 2018 to 19.6% this year.
For every £10 earned by the average male employee at the company, which sells to more than 9.1 million UK customers, the average female member of staff makes £8.04.
The gender pay gap does not refer to paying men less than women for the same work, which has been illegal since 1970 when the Equal Pay Act was introduced.