Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

Red Funnel’s Gender Pay Gap Mission Statement

Red Funnel is committed to reducing its Gender Pay Gap (GPG) with an aspiration of a reduction to zero, whilst appreciating that historically, the marine industry has a high level of gender discrepancies. Red Funnel’s mean (average) gender pay gap is closing with a 15.5% improvement from first reporting in 2017, which clearly evidences our approach to equal opportunities and our continuation to develop initiatives to support this year on year.

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

Any organisation that has 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. The value of reporting on this information, to both the UK economy as a whole and to our own organisation, is of great importance when measured to its full potential and is used to develop our employment strategies.

By considering any remuneration discrepancies which may inadvertently exist within our organisation and using this information to put together a proactive approach to incite positive change, we can reduce this remuneration issue which is present in many sectors of UK employment.

The GPG figures are calculated by analysing all our employees’ hourly rates of pay on a single specified date. The hourly rates of pay are then divided into four quartiles to show the distribution of men and women at various levels in our organisation. A calculation is also made regarding bonus pay and the average difference in this pay between men and women, whilst reporting the percentage of each gender paid a bonus.

These figures do not in any way relate to the rate of pay for a particular role, or the basis for pay grading of those jobs. Instead, they tend to show the level of seniority of women in the work place and the level at which the majority are employed.

What are our figures?

Red Funnel Group gender pay gap and gender bonus gap figures relating to the snapshot date of 5th April 2021:

  • Our mean gender pay gap is 19.2% (2020 26.7%)
  • Our median gender pay gap is 23.2% (2020 24.1%)
  • Our mean gender bonus gap is 99% (2020 -5.4%)
  • Our median gender bonus gap is 91.7% (2020 0.0%)
  • The proportion of male employees receiving a bonus is 3.7% (2020 93.1%) and the proportion of female employees receiving a bonus is 4.7%. (2020 96.1%)

Please find below the Red Funnel Group pay quartile percentages (number of employees in each):

Please find below the Red Funnel Group pay Female/Male quartile distribution since the start of the GPG reporting in 2017:

The figures set out above have been calculated using the standard methodologies used in the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.

What Our Figures Show

Red Funnel’s mean gender pay gap is closing and in 2021, improved by 8% from the previous year at 19.2%. This is a 15.5% improvement from 34.7% when we first reported these figures in 2017 and is clear evidence of Red Funnel’s ongoing commitment to reducing its gender pay gap:  

 ‘Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry: 2021’ national statistics by the Department for Transport, compiled from certification data held by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and data collected via the UK Chamber Shipping Seafarer Employment Survey states the following:
  • 18% of UK seafarers active at sea in 2021 were female.
  • 4% of Certificated Officers were female.
Red Funnel is delighted that our reflective statistics are as follows:
  • 51.14% of seafarers active at sea in 2021 were female (a significant increase of 27.02% from 2020).
  • 6.89% of Certificated Officers were female (slight decrease of 1.11% from 2020).*
*The measures put in place to limit the transmission of COVID-19 affected certification during this period due to limited sea time availability, closure of training providers and reduced access to exam centres. (Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry: 2021 statistics, accessed on-line 24.02.22).

At the snapshot date of 5 April 2021, 60% of the Senior Leadership Team at Red Funnel were female, an increase of 10% since 2020.  Furthermore, across the 11 Heads of Department, 36.36% were female as at April 2021.

The band/quartile percentages divide the workforce into four equally sized groups based on their hourly pay rate, with Band A being the lowest paid 25% of employees and Band D covering the highest paid 25% of employees.  In order for there to be little or no gender pay gap, there would need to be the same ratio of men to women in each quartile. An organisation with a high ratio of men to women in Band D is likely to have a gender pay gap, as is an organisation with a high ratio of women to men in Band A.   Red Funnel’s statistics show that there are a greater number of male colleagues in Bands D & C and a greater number of female colleagues in Categories A & B.  Furthermore, it can be stated that those in Band D are typically long-serving males of 15 years or more and are all active at sea.

Red Funnel’s gender bonus figures include 14 bonuses paid under the GEM Award Scheme (Going the Extra Mile) and Red Funnel’s Suggestion Scheme - of these, 57.14% were paid to females.  However, the gender bonus figure also included a small number of annual bonuses paid to colleagues for meeting agreed KPI’s as part of their overall contractual remuneration package.  It is therefore important to note that as Red Funnel was severely impacted on the snapshot date in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of colleagues meeting KPI’s was lower than usual and therefore, the overall mean (average) gender bonus gap was not a true reflection of a typical year and our metrics were subsequently distorted.

Red Funnel is committed to the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment for all employees, regardless of sex, race, religion or belief, age, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, sexual orientation, gender, gender reassignment or disability. We have a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of gender (or any other characteristic set out above).

Neither Red Funnel nor the government’s ‘active at sea’ statistics in 2021 have been adjusted to account for seafarers who may be on furlough due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, it is important to note that the generic GPG results will have been affected by the 20% salary reduction for those colleagues on the furlough scheme, as only ‘full-pay relevant employees’ were eligible under government guidelines to be included in these figures.  Therefore, only 411 out of the 436 colleagues on payroll on the snapshot date were included for the purpose of gender pay gap reporting.

What are we doing to address our pay gap?

The historic nature of the maritime sector in which we operate is the main contributing factor to our gender pay gap figure.  Red Funnel continues to be proactive in taking steps to address this, primarily around supporting equality for female mariners, attracting more women to the industry at all levels and by further extending our initiatives to support women currently working at Red Funnel across all roles (including those working on shore), aiming to ‘retain’ as well as ‘attract’ women to work within the business. 

The following ongoing initiatives to address the gender pay gap include the Women in Maritime Charter (signed in March 2021); Introduction of the Red Funnel Learning Academy (RFLA) in January 2021 offering development opportunities and promoting equal opportunities; Update of the Flexible Working Request Policy in October 2020 offering enhanced terms; Rollout of the ‘WeCare’ virtual healthcare service app in April 2021 supporting wellbeing; and Commitment to raise awareness of Menopause within the business. 

Red Funnel continues to build on these initiatives including the following:

  • Hybrid Working Model Trial:  In November 2021, Red Funnel introduced a hybrid working model trial for office-based employees to spend between 40% and 60% in the office per week, working remotely for the remainder. This includes the potential for flexibility in working hours as well as location. Any employees wishing to deviate from this trial can, as before, submit a Flexible Working Request.
  • Recruitment Workshops: In February 2022, Red Funnel held a series of Management Training sessions on ‘Inclusive Recruitment’ including modules on unconscious bias, protected characteristics and re-affirming processes to ensure equality & diversity within our recruitment processes, which includes diverse interview panels and flexibility i.e. virtual interviews.
  • Introduction of HR Clinics: In February 2022, Red Funnel introduced regular lunchtime HR Clinics on both the Isle of Wight and mainland Southampton to discuss any HR or Learning & Development queries directly. 
  • Menopause Policy: Our Menopause Policy has been drafted, setting out the rights of employees experiencing menopausal symptoms; signposting the support available and offering awareness to others within the organisation.  Furthermore, Red Funnel is introducing ‘Menopause Champions’ who are open to sharing their own experiences in order to support others.
  • Re-launch of Wellbeing Wednesday: In January 2022, Wellbeing Wednesday was re-launched covering the four key wellbeing pillars (physical, emotional, financial and social) including content from national awareness news i.e. Zero Discrimination Day to what’s happening locally at Red Funnel.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Red Funnel is launching a series of one-day Mental Health Awareness sessions starting in March 2022 across all areas of the business, in addition to the Mental Health First Aiders already trained within the organisation.
  • Job Shares: Red Funnel welcomes Flexible Working Requests from employees wishing to explore the possibility of a job share arrangement; several such arrangements have already been agreed in 2022.
  • Talent Management: Red Funnel’s dedicated Learning & Development Advisor is available to discuss incentives such as Leadership Development, Apprenticeships and Mentoring.  In addition, Red Funnel’s Talent Management plan explores areas such as succession planning, performance management, employee retention, and building ‘talent pools’.
  • Transparency: In addition to the mandatory gender pay gap report required by law, Red Funnel made the decision to publish the accompanying narrative report offering an analysis of our metrics, identifying areas for improvement and providing an action plan to reduce the identifiable gap.  By being proactive and acknowledging this gap exists, demonstrates Red Funnel’s commitment to equality.


I confirm that our data has been calculated according to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.

Fran Collins, CEO Red Funnel