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Gender pay gap at UK beer, wine and spirits companies revealed

The UK government has published data on the gender pay gap that reveals the differences in pay at some of the country’s biggest wine, beer and spirits companies, with the pub sector in particular demonstrating a notable imbalance.

Companies with more than 250 employees, with some exceptions in the public and voluntary sector, are obligated to publish their gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce. If women do more of the less well paid jobs within an organisation than men, the gender pay gap is usually bigger.

Employers with 250 or more employees must publish figures comparing men and women’s average pay across the organisation. The obligation to publish data excludes most government departments, the armed forces, local authorities, NHS bodies, maintained schools and academy trusts and universities

The proportion of men receiving a bonus payment compared to women has also been made public, along with the median hourly rate of both sexes.


With the exception of two wine business, all of the companies listed in the database pay their male employees a higher wage than their female employees, with the pub sector in particular painting a more negative picture of the imbalance within the industry.

Pub groups with the biggest discrepancy included the Ei Group – the largest pub company in the UK – and Punch taverns, who pay their female employees on average 47% and 41% lower than men respectively.

For the EI Group, which has around 5,000 leased and tenanted properties in the UK, it means that for every 53 pence earned by women, men earn £1. For Punch Taverns, women earn 57 pence for every £1 earned by men in the same organisation. Marston’s reported a wage gap of 23.9%, meaning that women earn 76p for every £1 that men earn.

Other big companies to have had their data published include Heineken and Greene King, which pay their female staff 13% and 16.1% less than men respectively.

JD Wetherspoon, which has around 900 pubs across the UK, fared better, with a smaller gap of 5.2% between the pay of men and women, who earn 95p for every £1 that men earn.


While there were some significant gaps between men and women’s pay in several of the UK’s biggest wine companies, there were some notable exceptions, with both Majestic and Accolade paying women a higher average wage than men.

Majestic Wine Warehouses Limited reported a gender pay gap of 2.5% in favour of female employees, meaning that women earn £1.02 for every £1 that men earn. With regards to Accolade Wines Limited, the mean hourly rate for women is 1.8% higher than men’s, meaning that female employees also earn £1.02 for every £1 that men earn, according to the data.

Elsewhere, wine companies listed universally paid their male employees a higher wage than women, however the gap was significantly less dramatic than in the pub sector. Enotria reported a wage gap of 9.1%; Direct Wines (including Laithwaite’s) reported a 12.1% gap; while Wine Cellar Trading Limited (Oddbins) reported on a gap of just 1.3%. Similarly, Halewood Wine and Spirits reported that women employed at its organisation were paid on average 2% less than men.

But while the wine industry appeared to be more in balance than the pub sector, one wine-based business stood out.

The biggest pay gap reported within the wine sector was at Bibendum, which pays its female employees on average 30% less than men, meaning that women earn 70 pence for every £1 earned by their male counterparts.

Notably, Conviviality was not listed in the database, with Bibendum the only part of its organisation listed. The company is currently in administration after a disastrous few weeks that have seen its CEO Diana Hunter step down over an accounting error that resulted in an unplanned tax bill for £30m. Since then, Matthew Clark and Bibendum have been sold to AB InBev and C&C, while its Bargain Booze and Wine Rack retails chains are being sold to Bestway.

Pernod Ricard meanwhile reported an 18% pay gap, meaning that women earn 82p for every £1 that men earn, while another global producer, Diageo Scotland, which is focused solely on spirits, reported an 11.3% gap between the mean hourly rate of men compared to women, meaning that women earn 89p for every £1 that men earn.

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