As a practice, we pay our employees based on their role and experience, as well as other factors such as the size and profitability of the practice. Our salary levels are not linked to gender. Whilst our gender pay gap appears quite high, this is adversely affected by the fact that we have far more female employees than male employees overall. Of those male employees, very few work in the lower graded roles of veterinary nurse, receptionist and/or administrative/support staff, as can be seen by our proportions of males and females in each quartile. This is reflective of the national statistics across the veterinary industry which show that there is a great shortage of men working in these lower graded roles, particularly as veterinary nurses. As such, the overall gender pay gap across the business is not reflective of the earnings of men and women within each of the roles in our practice. Additionally, our gender pay gap as at April 2018 has been adversely affected, when compared to the previous year, by the fact that a number of our senior female Branch Managers were promoted to Partners (and therefore became self-employed) in May 2017, so they are not included in our 2018 gender pay gap calculations.