As an employer, Railpen is committed to maintain strong values that sit at the core of everything we do, and we are steadfast in our approach to being open, transparent and accountable in our treatment of employees.

Equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business are fundamental to delivering our mission. Building and maintaining reputation as a great place to work is critical for attracting and retaining talent from a broad demographic. Gender pay reporting regulations give us the opportunity to share our record in these areas and to reinforce our commitment to treating individuals fairly.

Our biggest challenge remains unchanged – to increase the number of women at more senior levels in Railpen in an industry that has historically been male-dominated.  We are determined to achieve this objective. Whilst our Hourly Pay Gender Pay Gap (including bonus payments) has increased in 2020, our Gender Bonus Gap has improved in both Mean and Median comparisons. The tables below detail these changes, comparing 2020 with 2019:

A gender imbalance in favour of males continues to exist in the upper quartile pay range of the organisation, and this is driving the overall gender pay gap.

We are resolute in working through a range of actions to improve gender balance.  We are continuing on our journey and recognise that these activities need time to drive change.

Proportion of men and women across the four pay quartiles

Review of progress in 2020

2020 has been a year of significant change in Railpen, as we have started to build the foundations upon which we can embed our new approaches in HR and we are confident that these will positively influence the direction for our future, including our Gender Pay Gap. As a result of this a number of initiatives we had previously introduced have been replaced by these foundations. The following paragraphs summarise our renewed approach and commitment to improving our gender pay gap:

New Bonus Schemes

In 2020, Railpen replaced the previous bonus schemes with an Annual Bonus Scheme, in which all employees participate and have the ability to influence their bonus payment through performance and contribution in their role, and a Long Term Investment Plan, in which our most senior employees are required to participate.

This Long Term Investment Plan allocates up to 50% of annual target bonus for payment four years after the award is made, driving a longer-term focus on the performance of the company.

New Reward Policy

During 2020 we have introduced a new Reward Policy that will ensure the target salary and bonus for all roles will be determined by market practice. All proposals to offer remuneration packages which fall below the minimum and above the maximum targets that are agreed will be subject to Executive and, where applicable, Remuneration Committee approval. This new approach will demand Managers justify their proposals, providing more evidence to explain and support their decisions. We’re confident that we do pay fairly and this approach will ensure any disparity in salary and bonus levels between men and women is addressed.

New approach to driving performance

A new approach to driving performance has also been introduced this year. Our managers attended a number of workshops focused on developing ‘Performance Led Leadership’ techniques and ways of working, and understanding the impact ‘unconscious bias’ can have when leading teams. The emphasis of this approach ensures all employees and managers can describe what doing a good job looks and feels like. Decisions regarding performance ratings and subsequent bonus awards will be based on what employees have delivered and how they have behaved in relation to their agreed accountabilities, priorities and behaviours.  The robustness of this approach will positively impact on any potential unconscious bias practices related to reviewing and rating performance.

Approach to Recruitment

By describing each role (using Job On A Page) to define the Core Purpose and Accountabilities, we are refocusing our approach to recruitment, ensuring that a candidate’s ability to do the job and to engage with their teams and the wider business are at the heart of the recruitment process. The increased focus on the ability to perform the job and the decreased focus on where a candidate has previously worked or studied will reduce the potential impact of unconscious bias from our recruitment processes and practices. Our Resourcing and Business Partnering teams play a key role in challenging recruitment decisions, ensuring unconscious bias is brought to the surface whilst striving to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Plans for our future

  • Working Families – we are reviewing how we work with and support Working Families by revisiting all our related policies and procedures.  We aim to propose, agree and launch a new approach for our Working Families in 2021.
  • Working Flexibly – 2020 has proven to us that we can work flexibly as an organisation, and we are now reviewing all our working practices and will be discussing new approaches to how we work with our employees in 2021.
  • Quarterly focus on progress in closing our Gender Pay Gap – we commit to presenting a quarterly review of our progress to the Railpen Board, highlighting developments in our recruitment, performance management and reward practices to support our aim of closing the Gender Pay Gap.
  • Development of our Diversity & Inclusion strategy – we will build on the foundations embedded by developing our approach to Diversity & Inclusion and agreeing our new policy with our employees and leadership teams.  Our new Diversity & Inclusion strategy will be launched in 2021.

Out of Cycle Salary increases

17 women and 16 men received Out of Cycle salary increases in the latest year. The average increase for women was 9.7% and the average increase for men was 12.4%.  The number of Out of Cycle salary increases has reduced in comparison with the previous year (24 men and 24 women). The gap between the increases awarded to men in comparison to women has halved from 5.4% in 2019 to 2.7% in 2020. Our new approach to Reward, as detailed in the above section, will continue to address this.

Impact of Bonus Data on Gender Pay Reporting

81.9% of males and 83.6% females received a bonus at Railpen in April 2020 in respect of the 2019 year. Railpen pay bonuses in April and, consequently, our hourly pay rate numbers including bonus are required to be calculated including pro-rata bonus payments under the regulations. As a result, it is difficult to make external comparisons on a like for like basis because other companies may pay bonuses at other times of the year, leading to distortions in the calculation of hourly pay.