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 2021. 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's a gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women across the organisation. It's calculated as a difference in the mean and median hourly rates on 31 March 2021 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 Gender Pay Gap

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

Median Gender Pay Gap

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

Mean Bonus Gender Pay Gap

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

Median Bonus Gender Pay Gap

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 =£16.52

Women =£15.61

5.51% Pay Gap

Median Hourly Pay

Men =£14.47

Women =£13.71

5.25% Pay Gap

Proportion of employees receiving bonus pay

Men = 14.04%

Women = 11.07%

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.

Our overall mean gender pay gap is 5.51% which means for all full and part time employees, men earned on average 5.51% more than women hourly.

The median gender pay gap is 5.25%. The average median hourly rate for a male is £14.47 and for a female £13.71.

Our gender pay gap for isn't significantly large and is around the same level as the national average for Local Government employers. The gender split across all employees is 54% female and 46% 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. Our pay scales introduced in 2006, with some minor amendments in 2012, were designed to minimise equal pay issues as they reduced the number of annual incremental points. They have between two and four incremental points which reflect the increased level of skill and experience gained in a role over time. There are also a number of high-performance increments in the highest four grades. This allows flexibility of senior roles to take on new responsibilities and add value to the organisation through income generation.

Bonus pay is defined as any payment or remuneration in the form of money or vouchers that relates to productivity, performance, incentive or commission. For us, it 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 employees and that paid to female employees is 68%; however, there is no median bonus pay gap. 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 5 years’ service thereafter. The value of the award increases over time, and the same award is offered to female and male staff members. Although there is not a big difference in the proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment, the bonus gender pay gap is relatively large. This is mainly because a higher proportion of female staff received a long service award for 10 or 15 years’ service, where a nominal award of £10 or £15 is given. There were 15 bonus payments for long service awards of either £150 or £200, with each recipient being a male. There's also 1 male employee who's in receipt of a bonus payment as part of their TUPE terms and conditions. It's for these reasons that a large mean bonus pay gap exists.

How Does This Compare With 2020?

Mean Gender Pay Gap

0.93% decrease

6.44% in 2020

5.51% in 2021

Median Gender Pay Gap

1.8% increase

3.45% in 2020

5.25% in 2021

Although there's been a marginal increase in the median gender pay gap, there's been a marginal decrease in the mean gender pay gap since the previous year. However, the gender pay gap does not stem from paying male and female employees differently for the same or equivalent work. It's the result of the roles in which our male and females work and the salaries 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

60.63%

39.37%

-0.02%

Upper Middle Quartile

34.13%

65.87%

1.21%

Lower Middle Quartile

29.13%

70.87%

0.42%

Lower Quartile

61.90%

38.10%

-4.01%

Our gender split is 54% female and 46% 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 grades as can be seen from the 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.

How Does This Compare With Similar Organisations?

Nationally, the mean gender pay gap was on average 5.9% in 2021 for Local Government organisations; the average median gender pay gap was 4.3%.

When looking at other Councils within Kent, the average mean gender pay gap was 5.96%; the average median gender pay gap was 7.26%. Although we do not have the smallest gender pay gap across Councils within Kent, our mean gender pay gap is lower than the county and national average.

Council

Mean Pay Gap

Median Pay Gap

Ashford Borough Council1

12.20%

18.20%

Canterbury City Council1

5.50%

0.00%

Dartford Borough Council1

15.40%

20.90%

Dover District Council1

3.10%

-6.10%

Folkestone & Hythe District Council1

0.10%

-8.70%

Gravesham Borough Council1

5.60%

1.40%

Sevenoaks District Council1

-13.40%

5.80%

Swale Borough Council1

14.01%

16.41%

Thanet District Council1

-25.30%

-8.40%

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council1

19.50%

29.50%

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council1

13.30%

5.90%

Kent County Council1

12.70%

15.70%

Medway Council1

9.90%

5.10%

Local Government Kent Average

5.96%

7.26%

Local Government National Average2

5.90%

4.30%

Maidstone Borough Council

5.51%

5.25%

Footnotes

1 gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk (2020/21 submission)

2 Local government workforce summary March 2021, Local Government Association

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 & 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

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 on an annual basis by our 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
  • Encourage managers to consider job redesign if there are aspects of a job that prevents or stops employees applying for them on a part-time or flexible basis
  • Encourage more males and females to apply for jobs in grades where there are a lower representation of these genders