Gender Pay Gap Report 2023

The Gender Pay Story

The gender pay gap is the difference in average earnings between men and women in the workforce. In essence it reflects a scenario where women typically earn less than men for similar work. The ONS reported the UK gender pay gap in 2023 as 7.7%, however noted this has over time been slowly declining, with a decrease of approximately a quarter over the last decade.

The gender pay gap exists across many industries and professions and is influenced by various factors, including historical biases, systematic discrimination, and occupational segregation (where certain industries or roles are dominated by one gender), differences in education and experience, and disparities in caregiving responsibilities.

Since 2017 any employer with 250 or more employees has been required to report their gender pay gap data. The purpose of gender pay reporting is to identify disparities, promote accountability, foster transparency, and encourage action towards fair pay equality.

A specific timeframe is used when reporting gender pay gap data, which is the snapshot date of 5th April each year, with the report including calculations for:

  • Mean (average) and median gender pay gap for hourly and bonus pay
  • Percentage of men and women in each hourly pay quarter
  • Percentage of men and women receiving bonus pay

More information on how each of these is calculated can be found in the government statutory guidance on making your calculations.

The figures in this report are based on the snapshot date 5th April 2023.

What We Do, Who We Are: The Tops Way

Tops Day Nurseries provides quality early education and care offering unique flexibility to families across the South of the UK. With 31 nurseries operating across Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset, and Wiltshire and over 750 colleagues within our Tops family we’re proud to inspire children and help shape a sustainable future.

We believe where you work matters and we want to obtain meaning and purpose from this every day, building a community of people that work together, encouraging individual personalities and brilliance.

At Tops, everyone is paid for the role they have in their team and those eligible for bonus are rewarded based on measurable performance indicators. Tops pay colleagues equally, men and women performing equal work receive equal pay.

The early education sector is typically a female dominated industry, the ONS reported all group-based providers as 98% Female and 2% Male for 2023.

Tops remains to be female dominated as 92% Female and 8% Male, however, has a higher male representation than in general for the industry.

Whilst this reflects our industry within the UK, we celebrate diversity and embrace inclusivity with open arms and every person in our family plays a vital role in fostering an inclusive culture. In 2019 we set up the Men in Early Years (MITEY) group and Tops are proud supporters of the MITEY campaign, a nationwide initiative aimed at recognising and appreciating the tole of men in nurturing and educating young children.

Mind the Gap

Although the industry and Tops are female dominated, Tops does have a Gender Pay Gap this reflects that whilst males are underepresented, some of these males are employed within higher earning roles such as Management roles, and within our Legal and Finance teams.

Hourly Pay Quartiles

The below chart displays the gender distribution at Tops across four equally sized quartiles, each made up of 104 colleagues, showing a predominantly female workforce (green) to male (orange).

Bonus Payments

Bonus payments include bonuses and commission schemes, those eligible for bonus and commission schemes are paid based on set performance criteria and structure within the specific role/department. There has been a significant shift in the bonus pay gap in comparison to last year this is following an annual review of the bonus structure, which has seen a significant reduction in the total bonus payments being made throughout in the year of May 2022 – April 2023. The roles which are eligible for bonus or commission payments are also female dominated including our Operations team, Nursery Management, Talent Acquisition and Parent Liaison teams.

Whilst more females are eligible for bonus and more bonus payments have been made to females as reflective above. The proportion of males and females receiving bonus payments is similar.

Commitment for Change

Tops will continue our efforts to increase the males representing the early education sector, through talent acquisition marketing campaigns aimed at attracting males with an aim of increasing our male representation to 10% to match that of Norway the world leading country for male representation within the sector.

In addition to campaigning for change for male representation Tops will continue to undertake regular benchmarking and pay reviews ensuring our colleague are fairly compensated for the roles they undertake, and our pay is comparative to that of our competitors.

We are and will continue to be an active member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Childcare and Early Education, that bring together parliamentarians and leading members for the childcare and early education sector to promote and facilitate discussion on key policy issues such as lack of early year professionals due to lack of government funding, better funding for the early education sector would enable better pay for our early years practitioners, in addition to making the sector more attractive to males.

At Tops we ensure all colleagues, regardless of gender and other characteristics, are provided with equal pay earnings, equal career advancement and training opportunities and will continue to advance the ways we market ourselves to attract all suitable applicants in our local communities. 

I confirm that the data published in this report is accurate.

Charlotte Percival

People Director


Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2023

Statutory Guidance: Making your calculations:,Multiply%20the%20result%20by%20100

Childcare and early years provider survey:

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