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Co-op becomes first retailer to publish socioeconomic pay gap report

Co-op becomes first retailer to publish socioeconomic pay gap report

Co-op has become the first retailer in the UK to publish a socioeconomic pay gap report, putting a spotlight on the difference in pay between colleagues from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

The convenience chain said the report will help inform its social mobility strategy and the actions it needs to close the pay gap.

The business collected voluntary data from 48% of its 57,000 colleagues across the UK between April 2023 to April 2024 and found it has a mean pay gap of 5.2% between staff from a lower and higher socioeconomic background.

According to the report, Co-op employees from a lower socioeconomic background are less likely to progress into more senior positions, compared to their counterparts from the professional – or higher – socioeconomic background category, whilst female colleagues from lower socioeconomic backgrounds face the biggest pay gap.

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The publication of the data builds on Co-op’s work to provide greater transparency around pay gap reporting and joins the group’s existing ethnicity and gender pay gap reports.

Co-op chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “This is a truthful report of our business and even though there is work to be done, I am proud that we are the first retailer to have carried out this research.

“It shows clearly that socioeconomic background, as a factor, can have a significant impact on progression and performance, but its influence on a person’s career is often overlooked by employers.

“For Co-op, establishing this annual reporting process forms a crucial part of our commitment to making a difference to issues that our own member owners care about.

“By holding ourselves accountable and outlining the steps we will take to address inequality within our business we hope to inspire long-lasting change at a societal level, so that everyone can thrive no matter their background.

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