Gender Pay Gap

We are proud of having a diverse workforce and attracting applicants of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities and believe we must support this equality through fair and transparent reward, recruitment, training and promotion processes.

As part of this approach we review the above processes to ensure that women and men are rewarded fairly and that all employees have access to training and career progression regardless of gender or current role within the company.

Whilst on first glance, our published gender pay gap figures suggest the average man has a higher hourly rate of pay, than the average female, this is misleading and does not reflect the true story and culture within the company

The figures result from the fact that a business in the healthcare sector attracts a greater proportion of female staff in our community pharmacies where store hours can accommodate more flexible working patterns, whilst our store managers and support centre staff (whose pay rates are typically higher) are more evenly split between men and women. This will cause significant disparity across our results where this imbalance is not taken into consideration. Similar issues will apply to other organisations in the community healthcare sector.

The following sets out to provide further evidence on the points above and our continued dedication to gender pay equality at HI Weldrick. At the same time, we are never complacent, so we also set out the steps we take to ensure that we keep this under review and make improvements wherever possible.

Gender pay and bonus gaps

Whilst we treat all applicants equally, as a community pharmacy we find that we largely attract female applicants to work in our stores, with many applicants telling us that this is driven by their desire to work and help in the provision of healthcare in the communities in which they live.

We assist our staff to achieve a positive work life balance by providing access to flexible working patterns and a sympathetic attitude to any such requests.

At the snapshot date, 5 April 2017, we employed 464 female employees and 99 male employees.

Of the 464 female employees, 51 were branch pharmacists, 5 employed in the warehousing and delivery operation and 33 employed in the support centre

Of the 99 male employees, 26 were branch pharmacists, 30 employed in the warehousing and delivery operation and 25 employed in the support centre

At HI Weldrick all sectors of the business have distinct pay systems, which are appropriate and marked to market for the roles within each of the areas. Within each of these areas, we are confident that women and men are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs. In order to achieve this, we seek to ensure our policies and processes are fair and consistent, especially around recruitment and selection, pay reviews, performance reviews and bonus payment practices.

By way of illustration of this, if we remove support centre staff and pharmacists our gender pay gap figures just for retail and dispensing staff in our community pharmacies and warehouse and delivery operations are as follows (a “negative” number indicates that the average female earns more than the average male):


Gender Pay Gap Gender Bonus Gap
-0.6% (mean) -196.4% (mean)
2.1% (median) N/A (median male bonus £nil)
(a “negative” number indicates that the average female earns more than the average male)

As compared to the published data for the whole company:


Gender Pay Gap Gender Bonus Gap
31.8% (mean) 67.4% (mean)
19.5% (median) -149.0% (median)
(a “negative” number indicates that the average female earns more than the average male)

Note: The mean is the average of all the numbers in a dataset
The median is the numerical value which splits the top 50% of the population from the bottom 50%

As the above demonstrates, any gender pay gap that exists within our ‘total’ figures is not at all driven by any variance in like for like pay within our community pharmacies.

Gender distribution across HI Weldrick ltd

The below chart illustrates the gender distribution across the HI Weldrick workforce in four equally sized quartiles. As is clear from the chart, there is a material variance in the proportion of males and females in the top pay quartile, versus that in the lowest pay quartile.

Employees by pay quartile

  Women Men
Lower Quartile 90.8% 9.2%
Lower middle quartile 88.7% 11.3%
Upper middle quartile 84.3% 15.7%
Upper quartile 66.0% 34.0%

Proportion of males and females receiving bonus

There is a material and opposite variance in the proportion of males and females receiving bonus as per the below chart.

Percentage of employees who received bonus pay

Males 56.5%
Females 71.8%

As set out in both the above chart and the gender distribution chart , both of these factors are driven by the fact that a higher proportion of males are employed in the support centre roles than in community pharmacies. Roles within the support centre typically attract higher standard pay rates but with a lower opportunity to earn bonus.

Our commitment to gender equality

As a Brand we have a positive commitment to diversity and inclusion in all parts of our workforce.

Initiatives which are already under way or which we plan to put into effect include:

1. continue to ensure that decision making on pay and progression are appropriate, considering equality and diversity

2.offering additional training and development in order to attract colleagues in community pharmacies (who are overwhelmingly female) to apply for roles within the support functions within the company

3. provide unconscious bias training to employees in charge of recruitment and managing teams

4. promoting our existing policies on flexible working and shared parental leave

This statement confirms that the published information is accurate at the time of publishing and is signed by Paul Appleyard (Finance Director)