Report document

Gender Pay Gap Report

Published 24 March 2021

Introduction

As a public sector employer with over 250 employees, we're required to publish data on our gender pay gap. The difference between the average hourly pay of all men and women we employ.

Although we're required to publish this data under the Equality Act 2010, by publishing this report we're reaffirming our commitment to being and modern and inclusive employer. This report is only one way in which we're promoting equality of opportunity for everyone and will help us to identify new ways in which we can become a modern employer of the future.

The information within this report is based on a snapshot of pay on 31 March 2023. This information will only include employees employed on this date and in receipt of their normal full pay; it will not include employees who were on reduced pay like those on maternity leave.

What is a gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women across the organisation. The gender pay gap is calculated as a difference in the mean and median hourly rates at the snapshot date and is expressed as a percentage of the average earnings of men.

This is not the same as equal pay.

Equal pay is about:

Pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value. Men and women are paid equally for the same work.

Gender pay gap is about:

Differences in average hourly pay and bonuses between all men and women in a workforce, expressed as a percentage of men's earnings.

We're required to publish the following:

Mean

The difference between the mean hourly rate of pay of male and female employees.

Median

The difference between the median hourly rate of pay of male and female employees.

Mean bonus

The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male and female employees.

Median bonus

The difference between the median bonus pay paid to male and female employees.

The proportion of employees receiving a bonus

The proportion of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay.

The quartile pay bands

The proportion of male and female employees in each of four pay bands. These are:

  • upper quartile
  • upper middle quartile
  • lower middle quartile
  • lower quartile

Our gender pay gap

Mean hourly pay

Men = £16.80

Women = £16.76

0.24% pay gap

Median hourly pay

Men = £14.61

Women =£15.28

-4.59% pay gap

Proportion of employees receiving bonus pay

Men = 13.95%

Women = 13.10%

Summary of data

Our pay structure follows a standard public sector approach to pay and grading and covers grades from manual job roles to senior managerial levels. Grades vary according to the level of responsibility and each grade is evaluated through a job evaluation process in accordance with our job evaluation scheme. We also have a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of their gender.

The overall mean gender pay gap at the council is 0.24% which means for all employees (both full time and part time), men earned on average 0.24% more than women hourly.

The median gender pay gap is -4.59% (the average median hourly rate for a male is £14.61 and for a female this is £15.28).

The gender pay gap is lower than the national average compared to the Kent average figure. The gender split across all employees is 57% female and 43% male, which is lower than the traditional gender split in local government of 70% female and 30% male. Due to this more even split, female and male employees are more evenly distributed between the pay grades, which reduces the gender pay gap.

The key reason for the difference in the median and mean pay rates is the structure of the pay scales and the length of service of males and females. The pay scales were designed in 2006 with some minor amendments in 2012 and 2022, they were designed to minimise equal pay issues as they reduced the number of annual incremental points. The current pay scales have between one and four incremental points which reflect the increased level of skill and experience gained in a role over time, ‘seasoning in the job’.

Bonus pay is defined as any payment or remuneration that is in the form of money or vouchers that relates to productivity, performance, incentive or commission. This covers cash awards for exceptional performance and long service awards in the form of vouchers.

The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees is -8.14%. We operate a long service award scheme, where employees are given vouchers after completing a certain amount of service. Long service awards are paid after 10 years’ service, and then for every five years’ service thereafter. The value of the award increases over time, and the same award is offered to female and male staff members. The reason for difference relates to more females receiving the long service award compared to males.

How does this compare with 2022?

Mean gender pay gap

1.67% decrease

1.91% in 2022

0.24% in 2023

Median gender pay gap

1.54% decrease

-3.05% in 2022

-4.59% in 2023

There has been a decrease in the mean and median gender pay gap, due to a decrease in male employees in the upper quartile.  There has also been an increase in females in the lower quartile.  

The gender pay gap does not stem from paying male and female employees differently for the same or equivalent work. It is the result of the roles in which male and females work within the council and the salaries that these roles attract.

There have been very marginal changes to the proportion of males and females within the quartile pay bands:

Pay quartile

Proportion of males

Proportion of females

Male proportion increase

Upper quartile

52.38%

47.62%

-1.88%

Upper middle quartile

31.25%

68.75%

0.42%

Lower middle quartile

27.20%

72.80%

0.13%

Lower quartile

59.52%

40.52%

-3.08%

Our gender split is 57% female and 43% male overall. In order for there to be no gender pay gap, there would need to be an equal ratio of male to female in each quartile. However, the gender split is not evenly spread throughout all the grades within the council as can be seen from gender breakdown for each pay grade in the table. Although we employ more females than males, a higher percentage of females are employed within the middle quartiles.

Our workforce

Employees by gender

Male = 42.57%
Female = 57.43%

Full time/part time by gender

Part time female = 36%
Full time female = 64%

Part time male = 7%
Full time male = 93%

We employ 290 female members of staff, and 215 male members of staff.  In addition, the majority of our male staff members are full time, whereas more of our female staff members are working in part time positions.

Further analysis shows that there are more female workers in the middle pay grades (grades 5-12) than male workers. This could be contributing to the small gender pay gap at the council.

We also offer numerous family friendly policies and flexible working options such as job share, term time working and from the data it shows that female employees take up of these flexible benefits are at a greater level compared to males which can adversely impact on our gender pay gap.

The following table shows the gender pay gap for full time and part time workers:

Working pattern

Number of employees

Mean hourly pay males

Mean hourly pay females

Mean gender pay gap

Full time

391

£16.97

£17.39

-2.47%

Part time

114

£14.38

£15.56

-8.21%

When looking at the workforce by their ages, the biggest gender pay gap is amongst employees from aged 50 or over.

Age range

Number of employees

Mean hourly pay males

Mean hourly pay females

Mean gender pay gap

18 – 21

8

£8.62

£11.64

-35.03%

22 – 29

54

£13.80

£14.82

-7.39%

30 – 39

96

£15.87

£16.14

-1.70%

40 – 49

134

£18.71

£18.29

2.24%

50 – 59

148

£17.37

£16.51

4.95%

60 – 65

52

£18.11

£17.33

4.31%

65+

13

£14.95

£12.38

17.19%

The gender pay gap for new starters

Mean hourly pay

Men = £17.16

Women = £15.62

9.40% pay gap

Median hourly pay

Men = £14.09

Women =£12.55

11.56% pay gap

Between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023, we employed 30 males and 43 females into new roles. There is a pay gap for new starters as large proportion of females were recruited into lower level positions. There were also 11 male employees and 5 females recruited to senior positions.

How does this compare with similar organisations?

When looking at other councils within Kent, the average mean gender pay gap is 6.58%. The average median gender pay gap was 4.43%. Our gender pay gap is significantly lower compared to other councils within Kent.

Council

Mean pay gap

Median pay gap

Ashford Borough Council1

7.3%

6.3%

Canterbury City Council1

5.7%

5.5%

Dartford Borough Council1

15.2%

20.9%

Dover District Council1

4.5%

0%

Folkestone and Hythe District Council1

2.4%

-2.2%

Gravesham Borough Council1

-2.8%

-8.1%

Sevenoaks District Council1

3.8%

-8.6%

Swale Borough Council1

10.06%

13.38%

Thanet District Council1

-5.8%

-13.5%

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council1

22.5%

29.9%

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council1

9.9%

5.20%

Kent County Council1

11.4%

12.6%

Medway Council1

7.7%

5.2%

   

Kent average – local government

6.58%

4.43%

   

Maidstone Borough Council

0.24%

-4.59%

Footnotes

1. gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk (2022/23 submission)

What steps do we take to minimise any gender pay gap?

We're committed to providing a fair and balanced work environment to all our employees, with equal opportunities provided for everyone. Our leadership team monitors our workforce statistics on a quarterly basis which includes information on staff turnover, exit information, recruitment, employee relations matters and our equalities profile. This regular monitoring ensures trends can be identified, and appropriate action taken if there are areas of concern.

We have a number of policies relating to pay that ensure transparency, fairness and equity. These include:

  • job evaluation scheme (HAY) for all roles. This is a significant part of ensuring gender-neutrality in the assessment of roles as it takes no account of individuals and is purely based on the job role and its requirements
  • a well-designed pay scale with no overlapping grades and a restricted number of incremental points
  • formal authorisation processes for the change in pay
  • a clear policy at appointment which should be at the first point of grade
  • an equal pay approved market supplement policy
  • enhanced shared parental pay to mirror maternity pay
  • exit interviews to gain feedback on employment experiences
  • the provision of recruitment and selection training to ensure interviewers have relevant knowledge and an understanding of equalities and diversity including unconscious bias
  • equal pay report that considers not only gender but disability and race

We have a clear approach to pay and reward which is well controlled. One of the factors that can influence the gender pay gap is the distribution of males and females within the grades. The recruitment processes are monitored by the HR team to avoid any unfairness including the wording in advertisements to ensure there is no gender bias. The recruitment processes will continue to be monitored to ensure there is no indication of bias.

Actions

We have a clear approach to pay and reward which is well controlled.

One of the factors that can influence the gender pay gap is the distribution of males and females within the grades. Therefore, the following actions are recommended:

  • the recruitment processes to be monitored by the HR team to avoid any unfairness including the wording in advertisements to ensure there is no gender bias.
  • to increase managers' awareness of 'unconscious bias's as part of the recruitment and selection training.
  • review the recruitment process to ensure it is accessible for candidates with disabilities by making sure there are no barriers in applying for jobs through the recruitment process
  • encourage managers to consider job redesign if there are aspects of a job that prevents or stops applicants applying for them on a part-time or flexible basis.