Last week, Sir Peter Bottomley and I caught up with the Chairman and senior management of GlaxoSmithKline at a presentation in the Commons. Glaxo remains one of Worthing’s largest and longest standing employers. They are also one of the UK’s most progressive employers with some 43% of management women and a virtually negligible gender pay gap of around 2.5%.
Brexit was predictably a topic of conversation and I am glad to say that they seem completely unphased about it. The UK accounts for just 4% of global revenue yet they spend a whopping 25% of their international research and development investment in the UK quite simply because we are a great and easy place to do business.
In addition they pay a disproportionate amount of their international tax bill, around 16% in the UK, again because of our more equitable tax structures, which particularly incentives investment in R & D. I was delighted to hear that they have no plans to change their confidence in the UK generally or Worthing specifically.