Gender Pay Gap figures 2021 (based on 2020 figures)

The Gender Pay Gap is the difference in pay between all males and all females in any organisation.

The point of gender pay gap reporting is not to check that women are paid equally to men for the same job or work of equal value (this is protected by Equal Pay legislation). It is about whether there are differences in the sorts of jobs done by men and women which result in men generally being paid more than women. So if an organisation has a gender pay gap, it doesn't mean that men and women in comparable roles are paid differently. It means that the workforce includes proportionally more men paid at higher hourly rates than women.

By law we are required to report six sets of figures which measure our gender pay gap:

  1. Difference in mean hourly rate of pay
  2. Difference in median hourly rate of pay
  3. Difference in mean bonus pay
  4. Difference in median bonus pay
  5. The proportion of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay
  6. The proportion of male and female employees within each pay band, based on 4 quartiles

The report below details each of the above 6 sets of figures for 2020, and for reference we have also included the figures previously reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Figures 1 and 2 are about the difference in hourly rate between men and women, based on pay rates as of the "snapshot date" of 31 March 2020. Mean gender pay gap compares the average hourly rates of men to those of women. Median gender pay gap is calculated by placing all hourly rates in order from lowest to highest and comparing the middle rate for men with the middle rate for women. The median figure is often seen as more accurate, because it is not skewed by extremes at the highest or at the lowest ends of the scale.

Mean (per cent)

  • Gender pay Gap 2020: 2.3 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2019: 1.8 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2018: 3.4 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2017: 1.9 per cent

Median (per cent)

  • Gender pay Gap 2020: -1.9 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2019: -5.9 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2018: -3.2 per cent
  • Gender pay gap 2017: -2.1 per cent

A minus figure ("negative pay gap") means women are paid more than men by that measure. So based on the mean measure, women in the Council earn 2.3 per cent less than men. In other words, on average for every £1 a man earns, a woman earns just under 98p. However, based on the median measure, women in the Council earn 1.9 per cent more than men. In other words, for every £1 a man earns, a woman earns almost £1.02.

From 2017 to 2019, the median gender pay gap widened further each year in favour of women. The median gender pay gap has narrowed in 2020 which suggests a slight shift in overall female pay compared to male pay – unlike the mean pay gap, the median pay gap is less influenced by extremes at either end of the pay range. However a move towards a more balanced pay picture, represented by a zero pay gap, is itself a positive step.

The mean rate, which is more affected by small numbers of individuals at the highest (and lowest) rates of pay, has fluctuated over the three years since reporting began. 2019 saw the lowest mean gender pay gap to date and this year the gap has increased slightly to 2.3 per cent.

Figures 3 and 4 are about the difference in bonus pay between men and women, again based on the mean and also on the median. The only relevant bonus payment for this calculation is the one-off payment made under our Contribution Related Reward (CRR) Scheme for those employees rated as Exceeds Expectations (£450, pro-rata for part-time employees) or Outstanding (£1,000, pro-rata for part-time employees) as part of their individual appraisal process.

In 2021 we must report on bonuses paid in the year immediately prior to the "snapshot date" of 31 March 2020, so the bonus gap analysis is based on CRR payments made in June 2019.

Mean (per cent)

  • Gender bonus Gap 2020: 4.8 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2019: 5.8 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2018: 9.4 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2017: -0.7 per cent

Median (per cent)

  • Gender bonus Gap 2020: 0 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2019: 0 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2018: 0 per cent
  • Gender bonus gap 2017: 0 per cent

The gender bonus gap figures show that based on the mean measure, women earn 4.8 per cent less bonus than men. In other words, on average for every £1 bonus a man earned, a woman earned just over 95p. Based on the median measure, there is no pay gap.

The mean gender bonus gap is caused by the fact that many more female employees work part time compared to male employees, and so any CRR payment received by a woman is more likely to be pro-rated to reflect their part time hours. It is important to understand that if there were no mean gender bonus gap this would indicate that part time employees (who are more likely to be female) are significantly less likely than full time employees to achieve the Exceeds Expectations or Outstanding ratings at appraisal.

There has been a small reduction in the mean gender pay gap which reflects the fact that the CRR system is newly applied each year – the employees receiving a one-off payment change regularly as does the number of payments made and the amount of the payments.

The median bonus gap is 0 per cent because the payment amount paid most often is £450 (representing the payment for a full-time employee achieving a rating of Exceeds Expectations), so when male and female bonus payments are put in a line from lowest to highest, this amount is always in the middle. This situation is likely to be the same every year, which explains why the median bonus gap is consistently 0 per cent since 2017.

Figure 5 is the proportion of men and women who received a bonus payment. For context, the overall percentage of employees receiving a bonus has also been provided.

 

M (per cent)

F (per cent)

All (per cent)

Proportion of employees receiving bonus - 2020

28.7

29.8

29.5

Proportion of employees receiving bonus - 2019

30.4

29.1

29.5

Proportion of employees receiving bonus - 2018

23.4

27.8

26.6

Proportion of employees receiving bonus - 2017

22.5

23.0

22.9

It can therefore be seen that relatively few employees receive bonus (less than one-third of the workforce). In addition the percentage of employees of both genders receiving bonus steadily increased since reporting began in 2017 up to 2019 and has stayed the same since then. These facts together further reflect the varying nature of CRR payments and support the conclusion that the 4.8 per cent mean gender pay gap is not a cause for concern.

The data shows that women were very slightly more likely than men to have received a bonus payment in 2020 (a reversal of 2019 which was itself a reversal of the position in the previous two years). However the difference here is so small that it does not have any real statistical significance – mathematically it would be highly difficult, if not impossible, for these figures to match exactly.

Figure 6 shows the workforce divided into four equal groups ("quartiles") based on hourly rate from lowest to highest, and the proportion of men and women in each quartile.

 

2020

2019

2018

2017

 

F (per cent)

M (per cent)

F (per cent)

M (per cent)

F (per cent)

M (per cent)

F (per cent)

M (per cent)

Lower Quartile

71.4

28.6

71.6

28.4

69.4

30.6

70.8

29.2

Lower Middle Quartile

69.4

30.6

69.3

30.7

72.3

27.7

67.6

32.4

Upper Middle Quartile

73.2

26.8

75.3

24.7

75.2

24.8

72.1

27.9

Upper Quartile

71.0

29.0

70.3

29.7

68.5

31.5

69.5

30.5

All

71.2

28.8

71.6

28.4

71.3

28.7

70.0

30.0

Again, there is no requirement to report the overall proportion of male / female employees; however it is useful to compare this overall figure with that of each of the four quartiles.

Quartile analysis supports the mean and median pay gap calculations by showing if an organisation has a lack of women in senior roles. E.g. if an organisation has a 70 per cent female workforce but only 40 per cent of its upper quartile are female, and 80 per cent of its lower quartile are female, they probably have a gender pay gap. And organisations with large gender pay gaps in favour of men tend to have higher proportions of women in the lower and lower middle pay quartiles than in the upper and upper middle pay quartiles.

Analysis of the Council's pay quartiles from 2017 to 2020 shows that:

  • The proportion of women in each of the four quartiles is similar to each other and to the overall proportion of women.
  • The upper middle quartile consistently has the highest percentage of women, higher than the overall ratio of women to men.
  • The percentage of women in the upper quartile is at its highest in 2020, having increased slightly again in 2019 after a slight drop in 2018.
  • The proportion of women in the Upper Middle Quartile, although still the highest percentage of women of all four quartiles, has reduced, which by definition means the proportion of men in this quartile has increased. This quartile represents the second-highest levels of salary and so a shift in the make-up of this quartile will have an impact on the overall mean gender pay gap.
  • The proportion of women in the Upper Quartile has increased slightly but this is not enough to off-set the reduction of females in the Upper Middle Quartile.

It is worth noting that because the majority of Council staff are at lower grades, the upper quartile actually starts at grade 10 so covers a wide range and by no means just the most senior or highly-paid roles.

Conclusion

Gender pay gap reporting is not a solution in itself; but is just one of a number of measures we can use to assess how good we are at promoting equality and diversity.

Our gender pay gap figures compare favourably with the wider sector and the economy as a whole. We believe this shows that as a Council we take this issue seriously and have successfully taken steps to prevent gender pay inequalities in the workforce, such as:

  • Providing development and promotion opportunities internally, to support all employees in reaching their full potential
  • Adopting effective recruitment practices to ensure that we always appoint the best person for the job, and do not proportionally disadvantage either male or female applicants
  • Offering part time working in a wide variety of roles, which have been taken up by a significant proportion of the workforce
  • Offering family friendly benefits including childcare vouchers and holiday purchase
  • Introducing and supporting mobile and flexible working at all levels, which promotes a healthy work/life balance and supports employees with caring responsibilities
  • Our commitment to paying a local living wage for all employees, supporting those in the lowest graded jobs.
  • We will continue to develop and embed practices which encourage equality across the Council.

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