- February 2020
- Published on
- February 2020
- Last reviewed on
The Government requires all employers with over 250 employees to report their gender pay gap on an annual basis. This is the 3rd year in which these figures have been published.
Our vision is to be an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families. At the heart of our approach is fair treatment and equal opportunity. Approximately 70% of the Council’s employees currently live in the Borough and we are committed to improving the gender pay gap within our organisation.
The gender pay gap data highlights the difference between the average pay of men and women; it is not a measure of equal pay, which relates to what men and women are paid for the same or similar roles or work of equal value.
The Council collected data on 31st March 2019 at which time our workforce consisted of 2735 full pay relevant employees, 774 men and 1961 women (28% / 72% respectively). The workforce numbers have increased by 7.6% following a TUPE transfer. This data does not include school based employees.
Gender pay gap data as at 31st March 2019
The figures in the table below show that the Council has a mean gender pay gap of 16.74% which is the difference between average hourly rate of pay of male and female full pay relevant employees. This has decreased from 17.6% in March 2018.
The median gender pay gap is the difference between the median hour rate of male and female full pay relevant employees and is 17.58%, this is a slight increase from 17.2% in March 2018.
In March 2018 the mean hourly rate for men was £14.75 which increased to £15.41 in March 2019, an increase of 4.5%. The mean hourly rate for women increased from £12.15 to £12.83 over the same period which is an increase of 5.6% and this has contributed to the decrease in the mean gender pay gap. The decrease is in the main due to the increase in the South Tyneside Living Wage which was above the percentage increase of the national pay award. As there are more women than men paid at the South Tyneside Living Wage rate this has resulted in a greater increase in the hourly rate.
The annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE) gender pay gap tables released by the Office of National Statistics Great Britain in October 2019 shows an average mean gender pay gap across all employers of 15.9% and a median gender pay gap of 16.8%.
The Council does not pay bonus payments and therefore does not have a gender pay gap in this area.
|Women’s earnings at March 2018||Women’s earnings at March 2019||Variance|
|Mean gender pay gap in hourly pay||17.5% lower||16.74% lower||0.76 reduction|
|Median gender pay gap in hourly pay||20.9% lower||17.58% lower||3.32 reduction|
|Difference in mean bonus payments||0%||0%|
|Difference in median bonus payments||0%||0%|
The proportion of men and women in each pay quartile is shown below. 57% of women (1115 employees) are in the lower and lower middle quartiles compared to 33% (253 employees) of men. 43% of women (846 employees) are in the upper middle and upper quartiles compared with 67% (521 employees) of men.
Proportion of men and women in each pay quartile (%)
The average hourly rate per quartile is shown below.
In 2015 the Council recognised the number of lower paid employees and took a decision to remove the minimum pay points from the pay spine. In 2016 the Council committed to paying the Living Wage Foundation minimum rate to be reviewed on an annual basis. The Foundation reviews this rate every November at which point the Council reviews this and affects any change from the following April. At the snapshot date of 31st March 2019 the Council was paying £8.75 as the minimum rate for all employees.
The Council has a higher proportion of part time employees, 1346 employees (49%) are full time and 1389 employees (51%) are part time. The numbers of full time and part time staff in each quartile are shown in the table below.
|Pay quartile||Full time||Part time|
The Council is committed to having flexible working policies which provide the opportunity for all employees to effectively balance home and work life priorities. However the figures show that, per quartile, the numbers of part time employees are in the lower and lower middle quartiles and women at those levels form the majority of part time workers.
Recognising the challenges
The Council is responsible for delivering a number of diverse services in areas such as Adult Social Care, Children and Young People’s Services, ICT, Finance, Legal Services, Regeneration, Leisure Services etc. Roles within these areas are very different in terms of requirements and hours of work and certain roles have, historically seen a gender bias. Roles in areas such as Refuse Collection, ICT and Construction Services have tended to attract more men, whereas roles in areas such as Social Care, Customer Services, Catering and Cleaning have tended to attract more women especially in areas where a high proportion of roles are part time.
For example, our Catering and Cleaning Services make up 21% of our workforce with 570 employees. These services consist of predominately part time, lower paid roles within the Council. 551 (97%) employees within these services are women whilst only 19 (3%) are men. Of the 551 female employees, 97% (537) are part time compared to 47% (9) of the male employees in the services. A number of Councils have outsourced these services to the private sector. The Council has decided not to do this as we highly value these services and our aim is to protect terms and conditions of employment. However for illustrative purposes our gender pay gap figures would reduce to a mean of 8.68% and a median of 8.4% if these services were outsourced.
Progress towards closing the gap
The Council is committed to reducing the pay gap and has prioritised key areas for action. We recognise that providing flexible working arrangements enables all employees to effectively balance home and work life priorities and we have a number of flexible working policies and arrangements in place which are continuously reviewed. 60% of our female employees and 27% of our male employees work less than full time hours which includes, job share, part time, term time only etc so we are confident our flexible working arrangements are attractive to employees but we need to ensure that men are equally encouraged to utilise these policies when they may wish to do so.
The Council is satisfied that our recruitment processes are fair and transparent and free from gender bias. We deliver Recruitment and Selection training to our managers which includes information on all areas of discrimination, genuine occupational requirements and fair selection methods. We continue to ensure our adverts have a gender-neutral language and vacancies are advertised through a number of channels to attract a broad range of applicants.
We have reviewed our succession planning and talent development opportunities. We are continuing to identify opportunities for development across all employees, utilising opportunities via the apprenticeship levy to implement career pathways across services. We delivered a High Potential Programme in 2018/19, identifying our key talent for succession progression and providing bespoke development to this group. We ensured that access to this programme was flexible to ensure employees across all services and working arrangements were able to be considered.