Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

Gender Pay Gap Statistics - March 2021

We continue to welcome the government’s requirement for large organisations to be more transparent on gender pay, and will use this opportunity to nurture our culture of supporting women in the workplace, ensuring success is defined by talent, not gender or circumstance.

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

The national data for 2020 and 2021 are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges in collecting the data and the complexities of interpreting average earnings data due to the furlough scheme, reduction in working hours during the pandemic, lockdowns of various sectors etc.

With regards to Ashford Borough Council employees we did not furlough or reduce hours for reduced pay. Therefore our specific data is not directly impacted in this regard but of course our employees have been affected by the pandemic in other ways.

What is a gender pay gap?

A gender pay gap is the difference in average pay between the men and women in a workforce, expressed relative to men’s earnings. For example, ‘women earn 15% less than men per hour’.

It is different to equal pay, which is a legal requirement to pay men and women the same for equal or similar work. Ashford Borough Council has a robust job evaluation system which ensures equality of pay.

Having a gender pay gap does not mean that unlawful discrimination is occurring. The majority of organisations will have a gap for varying reasons, some of which are due to much broader influences such as economic, cultural, societal and educational factors.

It is good news that our gender pay gap has reduced again slightly. There is a very small uplift in the amount of women in the top pay quartile and we want to ensure there are opportunities for the women in the other quartiles to progress if they wish to. This could be helped by a number of factors such as personal development plans being undertaken, women feeling more confident in going for promotion opportunities or more aware of our policies that support a work/life balance. A significant shift in the gap will only be seen over the longer term as we continue to work on a flexible culture.

Our data - 31 March 2021

Mean (average) gender pay gap in hourly pay: 8.8%

Median (mid-point) gender pay gap in hourly pay: 15.5%

Proportion of males and females in each pay quartile
Pay quartile Men % Women %
Top 54.1 45.9
Upper middle 41.8 58.2
Lower middle 33.0 67.0
Lower 42.6 57.4

Mean (average) bonus gender pay gap: -463.9%

Median (mid-point) bonus gender pay gap: -20%

Proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment: Males (13.8%), Females (1.0%)

We do not operate a bonus or performance related pay scheme. The figures behind the bonus gender pay gap result from long service awards (one female) and long service awards on retirement (one female) for 2020/21, and an informal non-contractual operational arrangement for the provision of a voucher reward scheme at Aspire, the council’s landscape management team.

The statistics look unusual because they show that more men than women received a ‘bonus payment’, but that more women were given more money on average and at mid-point. This reflects the fact that the long service awards are of a set value and a higher amount, and the rewards at Aspire were given to a larger number of men but at varying amounts.

What do our calculations mean?

We know that we are already a fair employer and that our pay structure, policies, recruitment procedures and training programme are set without bias to gender or any other personal characteristic. We also know many of these policies and procedures assist both our male and female staff in a work-life balance and career progression opportunities.

We would like to close our gap further, whilst recognising that there are likely staff of both genders that do not wish to progress further in their careers at this time.

We are focusing on communicating our existing policies which simply remove some of the barriers that women may be more likely to face than men. We want to nurture our culture of supporting women in the workplace and continue to ensure that:

  • Unpaid care can be distributed evenly between men and women
  • Occupational downgrading or career stalling after motherhood is eliminated
  • Women have the opportunity and confidence to go for development and career progression, on a par with male colleagues
  • Managers are trained against any possible bias – in appointment, starting salary and promotion

Our policies are not designed to encourage women into part time jobs, but instead about enabling both men and women to redistribute the responsibility for looking after family members, so as to reduce the motherhood and eldercare pay penalties.

Reducing this gender gap is simply about ensuring women have the same opportunities as men to fulfil their potential in the workplace. We are committed to having a diverse and inclusive workplace that gives equal opportunities to all employees irrespective of gender.

Page 1 of 3