Gender Pay Gap Report for 2020

1. Purpose of the report

1.1 From April 2017, under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, employers with 250 or more employees are required to publish statutory gender pay gap calculations every year.

1.2 To make the calculations, data must be gathered from the Council’s payroll from a specific date each year. This specific date is called the ‘snapshot date’, which is 31 March for public sector organisations.

1.3 The calculations must be published on the Council’s website and the Government Equalities Office website by 30 March 2021. This report sets out the figures that will need to be published and an analysis of the information.

2. Introduction and background

2.1 The information that is required for publication is shown below.  The averages used are mean and median.  A mean average is calculated by totalling all the values in a dataset; this total is then divided by the number of values that make up the dataset. The median of a group of numbers is the number in the middle, when the numbers are in order of magnitude.

Mean gender pay gap The difference between the mean hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees (FPREs) and that of female full-pay relevant employees.
Median gender pay gap The difference between the median hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees.
Mean bonus gap The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees.
Median gender pay gap The difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees.
Bonus proportions The proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the relevant period.
Quartile pay bands The proportions of male and female full-pay relevant employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

2.2 For the purpose of this report, the workforce profile as at the ‘snapshot date’ date of 31 March 2020 was 1925 full-pay relevant employees (FPREs), which is made up by 1165 (60.5%) women and 760 (39.5%) men.   The proportion of men and women has not changed since the last Gender Pay Gap Report.

2.3 In accordance with Government’s guidance, data for school staff is not included in this report. The Council’s data also excludes the children’s services workforce which transferred to Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) on 1 December 2018.  BFfC are required to report their gender pay gap separately.

2.4 The figures in this report have been calculated in accordance with the Government’s guidance by the Data Team in HR and Organisational Development. The highlighted figures in each table are those that will require publication.

2.5 In relation to gender identity, if an employee does not self-identify as either male or female, the individual would be omitted from the calculations in accordance with the Government’s guidance.  For the Council’s report, 100% of employees had disclosed their sex so there was no requirement to omit any data for this reason.

Table 1 – mean and median gender pay gap

Men Women Women’s earnings are:
Mean Hourly Rate £15.89 £15.14 4.71% lower
Median Hourly Rate £13.99 £13.64 2.53% lower

Table 2 – mean and median gender pay gap in bonus payments

Men Women Women’s bonuses are:
Mean amount of bonus £1,000.00 £1,000.00 0% higher
Median amount of bonus £1,000.00 £1,000.00 0% higher

Table 3 – proportion of men and women who received a bonus

Table 3 – Proportion of men and women who received a bonus

Men Women
FPREs Total 722 1116
Proportion of all those receiving a bonus 1 (0.13%) 4 (0.36%)

3. Analysis

3.1 The Council’s mean (4.71%) and median (2.53%) gender pay gap(as shown in Table 1) have reduced compared to the 2019 figures which were 4.99% and 5.05% respectively. They also compare favourably with the national average gender pay gap figure of 15.5% in 2020 (which is down from 17.4% in 2019).

3.2 Tables 2 and 3 reflect a small group of employees who received “bonuses” in the relevant period. The Council does not have provision for the payment of bonuses within its terms and conditions. However, long service awards in the form of money meet the government’s definition of “bonus” for this report.

3.3 Long service awards at the Council are in recognition of achieving 20 years’ continuous service. The Council is currently running two long service award schemes with varying cash values:

  • A one-off money award of £1,000 for those achieving long service with either the Council or a combination of the Council and Berkshire County Council, with the provision for employees to “trade in” all or part of the award for additional days’ leave, currently at the rate of £100 per day; or;
  • £573 plus double leave for achieving 20 years’ service for employees appointed by the Council before 1 April 1999.

3.4 Five employees received long services awards, and in all cases, this was a one-off award of £1,000.  This was paid to 1 man and 4 women. This translates into a 0% pay gap, as shown in Table 2.

3.5 Based on how the gender pay gap is calculated, although the gap is small, it still exists within the Council as its workforce is predominantly women (60.5%). There are more women than men at every pay quartile, yet over half of women are in the lower and lower middle pay quartiles (see Figures 1 and 2 below).

3.6 Figure 3 illustrates the breakdown of men and women in each pay band. Pay band RG10 has the greatest proportion of women (73.3%), which is higher than the overall proportion of women employed at the Council (60.5%).  Job roles that fall into this pay band are primarily service managers, solicitors and business partner roles. 91% of the women in this pay band are full-time. 

3.7

  • The proportion of women on Reading Senior Managers grades (i.e. earnings above £53,291 per annum) is 36.8% which is lower than for any other pay grades. It has reduced from 44.4% in 2019.  The Chattered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) finds that there are a number of barriers that could hinder women achieving senior positions, e.g. caring responsibilities, full time working being the existing norm for senior roles, career break etc.

Figure 1: Proportion of men and women in each pay quartile on 31 March 2020

Shows proportions of males and females in each pay quartile.
Lower quartile: 35% male, 65% female
Lower middle quartile: 40% male, 60% female
Upper middle quartile: 40% male, 60% female
Upper quartile: 43% male, 57% female

Figure 2: Number of men and women in each pay quartile on 31 March 2020

Show numbers of males and females in each pay quartile.
Upper quartile: 273 female, 209 male
Upper middle quartile: 290 female, 191 male
Lower middle quartile: 289 female, 192 male
Lower quartile: 313 female, 168 male

Figure 3: Proportion of women in each pay band on 31 March 2020

Shows proportion of women in each pay band.
Above RG10 - 36.84%
RG10 - 73.33%
RG9 - 39.47%
RG8 - 48.81%
RG7 - 55.30%
RG6 - 65.16%
RG5 - 60.50%
RG4 - 62.05%
RG3 - 68.15%
RG2 - 60.88%
Apprentice - 46.67%

4. Conclusions

4.1

  • The small gender pay gap at the Council, which is much lower than the national average, is the result of the long-term effort that the Council has invested to ensure fair pay for all staff, including:
  • Promotion of the Council’s low gender pay gap through posts on the Council’s social media channels.
  • Promoting and supporting a number of flexible working policies for all employees within the Council, irrespective of gender, including job share, part time working and term time working. In some areas there is also flexibility to work from different locations.
  • Promoting the Council as a great place to work in local schools through the Resourcing team offering to support schools with CV writing workshops, interviews skills etc, whilst also improving employability skills for young people in the borough
  • Having a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of gender.
  • Having an objective job evaluation scheme to ensure pay fairness.
  • Formal authorisation process for any changes in pay, including accelerated increments, market supplements and pay at starting appointments.
  • Offering the right to request flexible working to all staff.
  • Enhanced Shared Parental Pay to mirror contractual Maternity Pay.
  • Became an accredited “Living Wage Employer” in 2014 paying the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation (currently £9.50 per hour) as a minimum to all employees at the lower level of the pay structure.
  • Engaging with working parents who are home-schooling during the pandemic, to reinforce the Council’s flexible working approach.

5. Action plan

5.1 The Council has commissioned Business in the Community (BITC) to review the Council’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. BITC will review our policies, processes and initiatives, as well as gaining insights into the experiences of our employees, across seven key areas: Strategy, Leadership, Recruitment, Staff, Employee Engagement, Pay Gaps and Life Balance. The insights and recommendations from the audit, as well as the Equality Audit 2019/20 findings, and Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap reports for 2020, will be used to create a Team Reading Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan which will be monitored regularly by the Corporate Management Team and Personnel Committee.

5.2 Continue to promote the benefits of flexible working practices to employees and managers. In addition, the Council will monitor the take-up of flexible working arrangements by gender and level within the organisation.

5.3 Promote the benefits of working for the Council both internally and externally, such as apprenticeship opportunities, flexible working arrangements, diversity commitments etc.

5.4 Continue to require recruiting managers to attend the Council’s recruitment and selection training which highlights the issue of unconscious bias during recruitment and interview processes.

5.5 Continue to ensure that recruiting managers use structured interviews as this is more effective at guarding against unconscious bias by ensuring that all candidates are asked the same questions and are assessed using pre-specified, standardised criteria.

5.6 Increase awareness about apprenticeship schemes to encourage more employees to improve their skills and experience giving them the opportunity to progress their career.