Gender pay gap

The purpose of gender pay reporting is to show the difference between the average earnings of men and women. Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 we have a legal duty to report on gender pay.

The regulations require us to publish key information based on an agreed methodology. Under the regulations there are six calculations that we are required to report on. These are:

  • average gender pay gap as a mean average
  • average gender pay gap as a median average
  • average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average
  • average bonus gender pay gap as a median average
  • proportion of males receiving a bonus payment and proportion of females receiving a bonus payment
  • proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay

Gender pay gap and equal pay

The gender pay gap differs from equal pay.

Equal pay is the differences in pay between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs, or work of equal value.

Gender pay gap reporting shows the differences in the average pay between men and women. We use job evaluation to address equal pay. It can still be the case that there is a gender pay gap due to the employee profile of the council.

Scope of the data

The data for this exercise has been taken from March's payroll which includes the snapshot date of 31 March 2017.

The data includes: 

  • all employees who are paid on a substantive, fixed term or temporary basis as well as casual employees.
  • basic pay and allowances (including recruitment and retention payments, shift pay and allowances for weekend working)

The data does not include:

  • overtime pay, 
  • redundancy or termination payments, 
  • non-cash benefits such as those paid through salary sacrifice

For the purposes of this report (as specified in the regulations) a pay period of one month equates to 30.44 days.

The calculations are based on 'full-pay relevant employees'. 

A full-pay relevant employee is one who is employed by us on 31 March 2017 and is receiving "full pay" during the specified pay period.  For the purposes of the report, an employee being paid less than their usual rate of pay for example due to maternity or sickness, are not classed as a full-pay relevant employee.

Our results

The mean hourly rate of pay for all male full-pay relevant employees is £13.94. The mean hourly rate of pay for all female full-pay relevant employees is £12.59.

The mean gender pay gap equates to 9.68% which is an increase from 8.47% in 2017.

The median hourly rate of pay for all male full-pay relevant employees is £12.52. The median hourly rate of pay for all female full-pay relevant employees is £11.01.

The median gender pay gap therefore equates to 12.06% which is an increase from 11.53% on 2017.

Employee profile 2018/19
 Number of males% of malesNumber of females% of females
Lower quartile18218.480581.6
Lower middle quartile37938.460961.6
Upper middle quartile34534.964365.1
Upper quartile44344.954455.1

This compares with the 2017/18 reporting year: 

Employee profile 2017/18
 Number of males% of malesNumber of females% of females
Lower quartile25624.379675.7
Lower middle quartile39437.465962.6
Upper middle quartile39937.965362.1
Upper quartile44542.360757.7

Observations and conclusions

Within the upper quartile there are 63 fewer females in 2018 than the previous year, whereas the number of males has only reduced by 2. Since the 2017 report the proportion of females in the upper quartile has decreased from 57.7 % to 55.1% whereas the proportion of males has increased from 42.3% to 44.9%.

Within the lower quartile, there are 74 fewer males in 2018 than the previous year, whereas the number of females has increased marginally. The percentage of males in the lower quartile has decreased from 24.3% in 2017 to 18.4% in 2018, whereas the percentage of females has increased from 75.7% to 81.6% for the same period.

We are a diverse organisation employing people across the grades in a wide variety of job roles and across a range of professions. We have retained in-house services which many other Councils have contracted out. These services tend to employ the lower paid front-line staff. In Gateshead Council many more women than men are employed in the lower two quartiles, it follows therefore that since women do more of the lower paid jobs than men, we will report a positive percentage pay gap. 

Future action to address the gender pay gap

We are placing a major focus on learning and development at all levels within the organisation, with the recent implementation of a revised Appraisal and Development (A and D) scheme and a new toolkit in development for maximising employee potential. If A and Ds are carried out in accordance with the scheme, and regular monitoring and 1:1 meetings take place, every employee should be provided with opportunities to maximise their potential and progress within the organisation. Over recent years, austerity measures have meant that there have been fewer recruitment and promotion opportunities, however, discussions about career aspirations providing scope to develop employees for potential future roles will support succession planning and retain talent within the organisation.

Maximising take-up of apprenticeships for current employees across the council is also a priority which, again, will support career development in the longer term.

In terms of supporting part-time workers and those with caring responsibilities, we have generous flexible working arrangements and special leave policies, all of which are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose and reflect current good practice. Where service provision allows, these policies apply across the organisation, regardless of grade.

Our pay policy provides for all appointments to be made at the bottom of the grade except in exceptional circumstances, in which case an individual business case must be approved by the Strategic Director of Corporate Services and Governance. 

Our recruitment procedures provide for fair, equal and transparent processes when considering promotion opportunities, and all appointments are made on merit. 

Other examples of the types of actions which are more likely to reduce the gender pay gap such as skills-based assessment in recruitment; structured interview processes; flexible working; shared parental leave; and coaching and mentoring are already in place within the council.

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