29/03/2018 - Permalink

Shropshire Council announces its Gender Pay Gap figures

Related topics: Corporate

Shropshire Council has today (Thursday 29 March 2018) announced its Gender Pay Gap.

The figures have been published in response to new national legislation which requires employers with more than 250 employees to publish Gender Pay Gap information each year. The aim of this is to increase awareness and improve pay equality across the country.

Shropshire Council’s workforce gender split shows that women make up 79% of the workforce whilst men make up 21%. In addition, of the top 5% of earners, 57% are women, compared to 43% men.

The council’s Gender Pay Gap as a mean average is 20.79%: this has been calculated on the average hourly rate of each non-school employee, both full time and part time.

Although Shropshire’s Gender Pay Gap is slightly higher than the national average this is very basic data and does not tell the full story.

To put this into context, almost a third of Shropshire Council’s workforce is made up of cleaning and catering services staff, which are predominantly lower paid, part time job roles occupied by women. This has a distinct influence on the overall Gender Pay Gap for employees. When considering non-cleaning and catering related roles, Shropshire Council’s Gender Pay Gap as a mean average drops to 11.81%.

It is also important to note that a large proportion, 67%, of our employees are part time and again in lower paid job roles such as administration and care workers. When looking at the Gender Pay Gap for all full time only employees Shropshire Council’s Gender Pay Gap as a mean average hourly rate reduces further still to 8.64%.

Also, the calculations do not include those employees in those services which have been outsourced, such as waste collections, highways maintenance and highways engineering, which are more male dominated. If they did, then the mean Gender Pay Gap would reduce.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for corporate support, said:

“Shropshire Council is committed to equality across all strands of diversity, and we are very proud and encouraged to see that the top five percent of the highest earners in the council are women and that women make up nearly 80% of employees in the council.

“We must stress that our Gender Pay Gap is not the result of us failing to pay men and women equally. We do, however, have more women in lower paid jobs than men, and this is mostly due to the distribution of men and women in the organisation. We have a higher proportion of women in lower paid roles, resulting in their average pay being lower.

“We have a number of policies in place to work to achieving a representative workforce across Shropshire. We will, however, review these figures and continue to measure our progress.”

Clive Wright, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, added:

“We continually strive to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to develop. Our job evaluation processes are fair and robust to ensure both genders are paid equally, according to the skills and responsibilities of their role.

“Shropshire Council continues to look at ways to help reduce the Gender Pay Gap. Our flexible working policy enables employees to request flexible working, whether that be in terms of working hours or locations such as working remotely, so that employees can achieve a work life balance, which have helped us to attract and retain our staff.

“We’re also actively investing in our staff through our Future Leaders Programme, to develop our leaders of tomorrow. Our first programme has proved highly successful.”

The council has also made good progress in developing family-friendly policies. Homeworking forms part of our flexible working policy, enabling employees to request to work from home on either a permanent or ad-hoc basis. In addition, annualised hours make it easier for our employees to work on a more flexible basis where service needs allow.

In the last 12 months Shropshire Council has implemented initiatives to promote the development of its employees through an online learning system, making learning more accessible and flexible to all employees. In addition, its apprenticeship framework incorporates 600+ apprenticeship standards and 15 apprenticeship providers. The council has also joined the national Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network which commits to making a change to the diversity and inclusion of apprenticeships both internally and externally, improving social mobility while building a skilled, diverse workforce.

To view the full report, visit https://shropshire.gov.uk/equality-diversity-and-social-inclusion/equality-diversity-and-social-inclusion/

Further information

  • What’s the difference between the mean and the median figures?
    • The mean (or average) is calculated when you add up the wages of all employees and divide the figure by the number of employees. The mean Gender Pay Gap is the difference between mean male pay and mean female pay.
    • The median is the figure that falls in the middle of a range when everyone’s wages are lined up from smallest to largest.
    • The median gap is the difference between the employee in the middle of the range of male wages, and the middle employee in the range of female wages.