Gender Pay Gap Statement

At Closs and Hamblin, we are proud of the vital role our staff have in building the success of our Company through offering outstanding customer service. As a business, we have traditionally carried very high numbers of staff hours proportionate to our Company turnover in order to achieve these high levels of service.

We continually work to ensure all candidates applying for jobs are given equal chances and opportunities to succeed. Recruitment is carried out by a multitude of different people across the business, in different locations, and final decisions are made carefully on the basis of skillset and experience to determine the successful candidates appropriateness for a specific role. We believe the length of time many of our employees stay with the Company (29% of all employees have been with the Company for over 10 years) is a reflection of our fair and diligent recruitment process. We are confident that women and men are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across our business.

Being a traditional Home & Haberdashery retailer, it would seem that consistent with our customer demographic, the majority of people interested in our roles at all levels of the business are female. We have however seen a small increase in applications from men in recent years, which has also led to an increase in male employees. We believe this to be the result of increasing numbers of textile and fashion courses being taught at college and university levels, as well as the breakdown of traditional gender stereotypes in society.

While a small statistical pay gap does exist in the mean average salary between male and female employees, this is easily explainable by the very small proportion of men to women employed by the Company (26 employees out of 307 are male, or 8%). Of the smaller number of men employed, 54% are employed in Full Time roles, compared to only 28% of women who are employed on a Full Time basis. The company currently insists that management staff must work Full Time, and this explains why 23% of all men are employed in supervisory or management roles, as opposed to 11% of the female workforce due to the higher proportion of men who work Full Time. This explains why when using a mean average, men appear to earn slightly more than women, however this difference disappears when using a median average which show there to be no gender pay gap whatsoever.

These numbers can be broken down slightly further, to show that at different Staff Grade levels, in some instances, women are actually paid more than men, while at other Staff Grade levels the reverse situation is the case. These small natural fluctuations are what might be expected from any equal opportunities employer.

Being primarily a High Street retailer, many of our roles involve Part Time hours so that our staffing levels can reflect customer numbers throughout the trading day and week. These Part Time roles naturally lend themselves to parents with young children, people who wi sh to work reduced hours due to fitness, disability or age and those who care for others. Of these aforementioned group, we have found significantly more women interested in our Part Time roles than men, and this flexible working arrangement seems to suit both the Company and the employees needs very well. Off the overall number of female employees, 72% work on a Part Time basis. However inevitably, these Part Time roles are remunerated at a more junior rate than many Full Time or specifically management positions, and as such bring the mean average pay down for women more than men.

Having traded on British High Streets for over 80 years as a family run business, Closs & Hamblin will continue to hold service, quality and value at the heart of the business. It is fully recognised by the leadership of the business that to deliver on these maxims, we will continue to require a happy, diverse and inclusive team of employees.