Tackling Diversity

  26 APRIL, 2018
Tackling Diversity

Novus is committed to being an employer of choice. To us this means being a company that is recognised for attracting and employing the best, developing and realising the potential of its people.

We have already been recognised as a leading employer by Construction News, winning both Employer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year awards, in the five years since the Novus brand was established.

We are fully committed to remaining at the leading edge. This means focusing on building a more diverse workforce with opportunities for personal development and professional fulfilment for all.

Understanding our pay gap

  • Women’s hourly rate is 25.9% lower (mean) and 25.4% lower (median).
  • Top salary quartile has 93.3% men and 6.7% women
  • Upper middle salary quartile has 94.8% men and 5.2% women
  • Lower middle salary quartile has 90.3% men and 9.7% women
  • Lower salary quartile has 57.1% men and 42.9% women
  • Women’s bonus pay is 87.2% lower (mean) and 26.4% lower (median)
  • 56.8% of men and 53.5% of women received bonus pay

Construction, as an industry, has long suffered from a lack of women joining its professions. We are actively engaged in several initiatives through Business in the Community and Women in Construction where we work alongside our peers to help develop attraction strategies to encourage more women to pursue a career in the sector. 

We see a need for Government to help improve funding and resources to help encourage young women to pursue qualifications for construction while at school, tackling the issue at its source.

We are committed to finding the best person for every role, irrespective of their gender, but are working hard to ensure our business represents an attractive career option for everyone, to increase the number of female applicants we receive.

Our pay gap is a result of a significant majority of our workforce being men, both at an operational level and in management. Women currently represent approximately 15% of our total workforce.

Although outside the scope of reporting regulations because of its size, JSSH Limited, the Novus holding company, is proud to have an equal representation of men and women on its board. Whilst this is not yet reflected within Novus, our Board of Directors are passionate about achieving greater diversity at the senior management level. Putting the business on the path towards achieving and sustaining a diverse workforce at all levels is an important part of Novus’ long-term goals.  

Closing the gap

We are determined to close our gender pay gap but recognise that this will require a long-term strategic approach. Our Board is developing an action plan in response to the Gender Pay Gap report, which we will announce to our teams later this year.

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DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENT TO IMPROVE PAYMENT PRACTICES

Ahead of the filing of our latest payment practice statistics, Neil Washington, our finance director, provides a breakdown of our results. Late payments are a thorn in the side of smaller firms in the construction supply chain. That’s why we have placed an ongoing focus on doing all we can to reduce the time we take to pay our suppliers. Quite rightly, the issue has attracted negative headlines in the construction industry and large companies are now required to report on their payment practices every six months. So, with the deadline for businesses to file their latest available data falling this week, some may be nervous about what the statistics will reveal. Here at Novus, however, we’re happy to report that our commitment to reducing payment times is continuing to bear fruit. The data for the first half of the year shows that we took an average of 29 days to pay our subcontractors. This is an improvement on the already high standard we set ourselves for the same period last year, which was 30 days. To put this in context, according to Construction News’ latest analysis of payment-practice reports, the industry’s largest contractors took an average of 43 days to pay suppliers. It’s not just there where we’ve continued to make improvements. We also now pay 57% of our invoices within 30 days, up from 52% for the first half of 2018, while the proportion of payments outside of terms are down year-on-year. Of course, our work doesn’t stop here and we will continue to focus on this issue. Contractors and their supply chains are dependent on each other’s success. Prompt payment means that subcontractors can maintain healthy cashflow levels, increasing the likelihood of them accepting more work and consistently carrying out quality jobs. Late payment can also have a massive impact on cashflow, increasing the likelihood of insolvency. At a time of skills shortages, reduced access to labour and economic uncertainty, it’s vital that bigger players in the industry are doing all they can to ease the burden smaller firms face.