Kerry Group bucks trend by paying women the same as men in UK

Here’s how other Irish companies fared as the deadline passed for about 9,000 companies reporting gender pay gap in UK

Irish businesses with a presence in the UK have a mixed record in terms of the gender pay gap, according to figures filed by a midnight deadline. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish businesses with a presence in the UK have a mixed record in terms of the gender pay gap, according to figures filed by a midnight deadline. Photograph: Getty Images


Kerry Group has bucked the trend at one of its British businesses where it pays its female employees more than men – fractionally.

Kerry Foods Limited, a Surrey-headquartered company, reported that women’s mean hourly rate was actually 0.3 per cent higher than their male counterparts, although in reality this means they effectively earn a similar amount.

However, once bonuses are taken into account, the more traditional balance is restored: despite a higher number of women receiving bonuses at the company, their mean bonus pay is 31.5 per cent lower.

The details come as the deadline for UK companies to disclose the gender pay gap if they employ more than 250 people passed at midnight. An estimated 9,000 employers were due to submit details of internal gender pay gaps under a deadline imposed as part of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.

While often confused with equal pay, under which men and women doing the same work are expected to receive the same rate, the gender pay gap measures the difference between the earnings of all men and women across an entire organisation.

A second company, Kerry Ingredients (UK) Limited, reported that women earned 7.7 per cent less than men in terms of hourly pay.

National average

Other Irish businesses with a presence in the UK had a mixed record in terms of the gender pay gap, with some found to be close to the national average of 18.4 per cent while others were decidedly off the beat.

Ryanair, which published its figures on Tuesday, was found to have one of the worst records overall with a 67 per cent mean hourly gap between men and women working in Britain.

At the other end of the scale, CRH’s Tarmac subsidiary operates on a 12.4 per cent gap, substantially better than the average. So, too, does DCC where the mean hourly pay gap was 12.8 per cent.

Builders supplies and DIY group Grafton does even better, reporting that women were paid just 3.4 per cent less than men at its Oxford-headquartered business.

Explorer Tullow Oil recorded a 44 per cent pay difference. In a statement, it said it recognised a gender imbalance across its UK organisation with just 26 per cent of its workforce being female, and only 14 per cent of female employees in managerial or senior technical roles.

It stressed that the imbalance was not unusual for the oil and gas sector, where women only make up 20 per cent of the overall workforce.

Kingspan, which has four entities employing more than 250 staff in the UK, said the difference in its mean hourly rates ranged from 3.6 per cent to 19 per cent. Packaging group Smurfit Kappa said women’s mean hourly rate of pay is currently 13.4 per lower than men’s.


Other Irish companies who have previously reported include Bank of Ireland UK plc, which has two entities with the mean gap at 24.6 per cent at one of these and 38 per cent at the other. Paddy Power Betfair has a 26.7 per cent gap, while Greencore, which has four UK entities affected by the legislation, had mean hourly pay differences ranging from 4 per cent to 16 per cent.

Drinks group C&C said gender gap figures are included in those of its ultimate parent, Tennent’s, numbers. These show the mean gender pay gap at 5.3 per cent.

Some businesses do not have a big enough presence in the UK to be affected by the regulations. These include listed Northern Ireland companies Kainos and First Derivatives. But they did so anyhow, showing a 20 per cent and 23 per cent gap respectively.

The British government has previously said closing work-related gender gaps could add about £150 billion to the UK’s annual GDP by 2025. Companies that do not report their figures within the expected time frame face potential fines.