Report document

Gender Pay Gap Report 2020

Published 24 March 2021

Introduction

As a public sector employer with over 250 employees, Maidstone Borough Council is 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 are required to publish this data under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information), by publishing this report Maidstone Borough Council is reaffirming its commitment to being and modern and inclusive employer.  This report is only one way in which we are 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 31st March 2020. This information will only include employees who were employed by Maidstone Borough Council on this date and in receipt of their normal full pay; it will not include employees who were on reduced pay (such as 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.

It is important to note that a gender pay gap 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.

The Gender Pay Gap regulations require employers to publish the following information:

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.  The pay bands are defined as follows (starting with the highest earners):

  • Upper quartile
  • Upper middle quartile
  • Lower middle quartile
  • Lower quartile

Maidstone Borough Council's Gender Pay Gap

Mean Hourly Pay

Men =£16.16

Women =£15.12

6.44% Pay Gap

Median Hourly Pay

Men =£13.92

Women =£13.44

3.45% Pay Gap

Proportion of employees receiving bonus pay

Men = 6.17%

Women = 8.01%

Summary of data

Maidstone Borough Council’s 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 the council’s Job Evaluation scheme. The council also has 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 6.44% which means for all employees (both full time and part time), men earned on average 6.44% more than women hourly.

The median gender pay gap is 3.45% (the average median hourly rate for a male is £13.92 and for a female this is £13.44).

The gender pay gap for Maidstone Borough Council is not 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.

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. For the council, 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 33% and for the median this is 40%. Maidstone Borough Council operates 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.

There were a higher proportion of females that received a bonus payment, and the total amount paid to females was also higher than the amount paid to males. The bonus gender pay gap is relatively large 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 and payments relating to a cash award were pro rata’d for a few female staff to reflect part time working hours.   This has therefore had an impact on the mean and median figures for bonus payments.

How Does This Compare With 2019?

Mean Gender Pay Gap

1.22% increase

5.22% in 2019

6.44% in 2020

Median Gender Pay Gap

0.5% decrease

3.95% in 2019

3.45% in 2020

Although there has been a marginal increase in the mean gender pay gap, there has been a marginal decrease in the median 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. Rather its gender pay gap 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

60.61%

39.39%

0.14%

Upper Middle Quartile

35.34%

64.66%

-1.09%

Lower Middle Quartile

29.55%

70.45%

0.87%

Lower Quartile

57.89%

42.11%

-2.58%

The councils 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 the grades within the council as can be seen from gender breakdown for each pay grade in the table.  Although the Council employs more females than males, a higher percentage of females are employed within the lower and upper middle quartiles.

Maidstone Borough Council’s Workforce

Employees by Gender

Female = 54.15%

Male = 45.85%

Graph showing the proportion of male and female employees

Full Time vs Part Time Employees by Gender

Female Full Time = 66.2%

Female Part Time = 33.8%

Male Full Time = 92.59%

Male Part Time = 7.41%

Graph showing the proportion of full time and part time employees by gender

Maidstone Borough Council employees 287 female members of staff, and 243 male members of staff.  In addition, the majority of our male staff members are full time, whereas one third of our female staff members are working in part time positions.

Employees by Grade

Graph showing the proportion of employees by grade

Further analysis shows that there are more female workers in the middle pay grades (grades 5-10) than male workers.  The jobs at this level are mainly clerical, administrative and lower level of technical roles which seem to attract a higher number of female applicants. Furthermore, most of our part time staff are female.  This could be contributing to the slight gap in gender pay.

Maidstone Borough Council 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 adversely impacts on the council’s 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

415

£16.40

£15.69

4.33%

Part Time

115

£13.13

£14.01

-6.70%

Employees by Age Range

Graph showing proportion of employees by age range

When looking at the workforce by their ages, the biggest gender pay gap is amongst employees between the ages of 40 – 49 and 50 – 59. For employees between the ages of 30 – 39, which is the third largest number of employees, there is a negative gender pay gap (albeit the pay gap is very small).

Age Range

Number of Employees

Mean Hourly Pay Males

Mean Hourly Pay Females

Mean Gender Pay Gap

16 – 17

1

-

£11.94

-

18 – 21

6

£6.15

£9.47

-53.98%

22 – 29

65

£13.50

£12.80

5.19%

30 – 39

115

£15.82

£16.17

-2.21%

40 – 49

152

£17.30

£15.82

8.71%

50 – 59

129

£17.67

£14.51

17.88%

60 – 65

50

£15.13

£17.17

-13.48%

65+

12

£12.13

£15.74

-29.76%

The Gender Pay Gap For New Starters

Below is the gender pay gap for new starters between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020.

Mean Hourly Pay

Men =£13.18

Women =£12.81

2.81% Pay Gap

Mean Hourly Pay

Men =£12.21

Women =£12.21

No Pay Gap

Between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020, Maidstone Borough Council employed 27 males and 42 females into new roles.  There was no median pay gap present for these new starters, and a small mean pay gap was present due to a male member of staff commencing above the first point of the pay grade due to the skills and experience of the candidate.

How Does This Compare With Similar Organisations?

Nationally, the mean gender pay gap was on average 6.1% in 2019 for Local Government organisations; the average median gender pay gap was 4%. Maidstone Borough Council’s gender pay gap is broadly comparable to these figures.

When looking at other Councils within Kent, the average mean gender pay gap was 9.12%; the average median gender pay gap was 6.35%. Although Maidstone Borough Council does not have the smallest gender pay gap across Councils within Kent, the gender pay gap is lower than the average for the county.

Council

Mean Pay Gap

Median Pay Gap

Ashford Borough Council1

13.50%

22.40%

Canterbury City Council1

6.70%

2.40%

Dartford Borough Council1

19.40%

21.40%

Dover District Council1

4.00%

3.50%

Folkestone & Hythe District Council1

1.10%

-12.80%

Gravesham Borough Council1

6.10%

-0.60%

Sevenoaks District Council2

7.80%

0.00%

Swale Borough Council1

16.10%

14.70%

Thanet District Council2

-8.70%

-27.60%

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council1

19.70%

29.50%

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council2

11.30%

7.60%

Kent County Council1

12.00%

13.0%

Medway Council1

12.30%

12.0%

Kent Average – Local Government

9.12%

6.35%

National Average – Local Government3

6.10%

4.00%

Maidstone Borough Council

6.44%

3.45%

Footnotes

1 gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk (2019/20 submission)

2 gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk (2018/19 submission – no data present for 2019/20)

3 The gender pay gap in local government 2019, Local Government Association

What Steps Do Maidstone Borough Council Take To Minimise Any Gender Pay Gap?

Maidstone Borough Council is committed to providing a fair and balanced work environment to all employees, with equal opportunities provided for everyone.  The Council’s leadership team monitors its workforce statistics on a quarterly basis which includes information on staff turnover and exit information, recruitment, employee relations matters and the equalities profile. This regular monitoring ensures that trends can be identified, and appropriate action taken if there are areas of concern.

Maidstone Borough Council has 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-neutral 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 Recruitment & Selection training ensures 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

Maidstone Borough Council has 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.
  • Increase Managers awareness of 'unconscious bias's as part of the recruitment and selection training.
  • Encourage more males and females to apply for jobs in grades where there are a lower representation of these genders.
  • Review the recruitment process and to revise the process to anonymise the candidate's name for the shortlisting process. This would enable a completely unbiased approach to considering candidates as all other equality data is not shared with the recruitment panel.
  • 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.