Council continues to reduce gender pay gap

A council has continued to reduce its gender pay gap – and women have overtaken men in one measure according to latest figures.

Stafford Borough Council
Stafford Borough Council

Public sector employers and businesses with more than 250 workers have to publish their gender pay by law each year.

Stafford Borough Council’s 2020 report, which provides a snapshot of how many men and women were on the payroll and how much they earned as of March 31, was presented to Thursday’s resources scrutiny committee meeting for consideration.

The report revealed that the mean gender pay gap – the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women, has reduced over the past three years to 2.52 per cent as of March 31 2020. On March 31 2018 it was 7.58 per cent, reducing to 6.78 per cent on March 31 2019.

The average earnings according to the 2020 report were £15.05 per hour for men and £14.67 for women.

But in the median pay gap – which compares the middle salary for men and women – the tables were turned. The male middle wage figure was £12.84 an hour and the female median earning was £13.18 – a gap of -2.64 per cent.

A report to the scrutiny committee said: “We are fortunate in the sense that our workforce continues to be split fairly equally in terms of gender – male 116 / female 114 as of 31 March 2020 – and this has been for a considerable period of time. As a small council any minor changes in the gender make up of our workforce will therefore naturally have a more pronounced effect on both the median and mean figures and can bring about a fluctuation in both of these as can be evidenced from the summary since the implementation of the regulations.

“We benefit from having a job evaluation scheme so we are confident that all employees are paid in accordance with the duties and responsibilities of the role which are key factors in reducing and maintaining any gender pay gap.

“One of the key factors which helps in maintaining a relatively small gender pay gap is the fact that the large majority of our job roles are made up with a high proportion of professional and managerial roles – 97 employees or 42 per cent of workforce – which in turn are naturally paid at a higher rate.

“In addition the make-up of our supervisory and professional roles is currently populated greater by females – 57.14 per cent – against 42.86 per cent male representation in this group. This is up slightly in favour of women from the 2019 report where 52.63 per cent were female against 47.37 per cent occupied by male.

“We continue to look at opportunities to develop talent within the organisation by offering development opportunities and creating career progression as has been the case in Development Management whereby individuals are encouraged and supported to attend university courses and progress to become qualified planners. This scheme has been attractive with both male and female applicants and has enabled us to ‘grow our own’ planning officers and thereby goes some way to fill the recruitment issues which have arisen in this area.

“We have always offered flexible working options in line with statutory requirements and this is as would be expected attractive to women who are more likely to work part time.”

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