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Gender Pay Gap

Established in 1972 Birkin Cleaning Services Limited is an ambitious company with a passion for cleaning. Our team of over 1,500 people work on behalf of a diverse client base across a range of market sectors.

When we reported our Gender Pay Gap information in April 2022, we recognised that our data showed some discrepancies in gender pay, which we have tried to address over the course of the past year.

It is important to note that within the cleaning industry, which works on low profit margins, pay rates are determined by what the price the client pays for the contract.  The internal pay policy in Birkin is to pay consistent rates across the whole of our direct cleaning teams and to pay, where relevant, the London Living Wage as a minimum, but there are occasions when this may not be possible because of historical pay rates which we acquire through TUPE transfers, because of pay rates required to recruit new employees into the business, and because the rates are restricted by the cost of the client contract.

We, therefore, seek to act as reformers, encouraging the whole of our industry to address pay discrepancies which arise because of the consistent nature of the transfer of business.  We do this by:

  • Working directly with our clients to encourage them to offer fair and consistent pay rates for their cleaning teams

  • Having a member of the Birkin Senior Leadership taking over the chair of BICS, an industry specific interest group, where she can influence thinking

  • Having our CEO, Paul Ashton, as Chair of the CSSA, an industry specific interest group, where he can influence thinking

We have made progress over the past year but it will take some time for this progress to translate fully into closing the gender pay gap.

Actions we have taken or have planned for the next year include:

  • Having HR representation at Board level.  We appointed a female HRD at Board level in January 2023

  • Restructuring our Head Office payroll to provide greater consistency in the way that benefits are delivered across the organisation

  • Putting in place a challenging plan of family friendly and welfare based benefits which we will be implementing throughout the year

  • Implementing an HR and Payroll information system which will give us quicker access to accurate data on our company, enabling us to identify and respond more quickly to issues of inequality which arise

  • Using our new HR system to create greater engagement with our on site staff, enabling us to work with them to improve their pay and working conditions

  • Implementing an appraisal process across the whole business which enables us to identify and work with staff who wish to progress; we are very proud that many of our current management team members have themselves risen through the ranks from cleaning staff and we will continue to ensure that opportunities to progress remain open to all who desire it

Ours is a challenging industry, but we do not use that as an excuse for inaction.  The values which underpin Birkin and which form part of the Birkin DNA encourage and direct the leadership team to use their influence to ensure that changes happen within our industry which address inequality and which make our industry a place where everyone can thrive, regardless of gender or, indeed, any other protected characteristic.

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