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Dudley Council tackling gender pay gap

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Dudley Council continues to tackle gender pay gap, with the authority’s gap being significantly lower than the national average.

The council’s mean (average) pay gap has stood at 10% for the last two years, repeatedly lower than the national average of 15.4% which was recorded in April 2021

Women make up 65% of the council’s workforce and the authority offers part-time hours for many its roles, with more women than men taking flexible and lower paid positions.

With women making up the majority of the workforce, and typically in lower paid and part-time roles, the median pay gap widens to 20%. This is partly a result of the pandemic, which saw a temporary reduction in lower-paid casual roles for men, but it is expected to return to a smaller gap next year.

The finding also showed that while women make up a majority of the lower paid roles, they also make up 55% of employees in the upper end of council pay scales, outnumbering men.

Women are taking advantage of training opportunities at the council with 101 of 160 apprenticeships being taken by women. Similarly, an advanced team leader apprenticeship programme saw 114 out of 184 training roles being taken by women and of an operational management apprenticeship, 30 were women and 16 were men. 

Dudley Council supports the Real Living Wage and commits to pay this as a minimum, which largely benefits lower paid employees, who are mainly female.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

Dudley Council continues to develop new ways of working that continue to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in our workforce whilst enabling work-life balance.
Naturally, the best way to reduce the gender pay gap is to have more women in higher paid roles. We have introduced a new pay structure with revised terms and conditions, and we have a range of family friendly policies to support work that is part time.
We are also expanding on the opportunities provided by apprenticeships, allowing employees in all grades of post to develop the skills to help them progress in their careers with 62% of our apprentices being female.

Further development work is planned to embed inclusivity within the workforce, including the development of a competency framework to support equality as a leadership accountability.

Notes to editors:

Dudley is unusual in that it keeps all of its services in-house, whereas many other authorities contract out services such as catering, care, refuse collection and highway maintenance, roles which tend to be dominated by one gender. This means that like for like comparisons across authorities in particular is difficult as the range of roles, gender split and pay scales varies enormously. In Dudley’s case, everyone is included, from the highest to lowest earners, from chief executive to modern apprentice which creates a larger spread and therefore wider pay gap than those authorities which contract out services and whose pay gap is accordingly smaller.

 

The pay gap is different from equal pay. The pay gap looks at the difference in pay between men and women in all roles throughout an organisation from senior managerial positions through to lower scale roles in construction, recreation, catering, cleaning and caring services, whereas equal pay relates to pay differences in the same or like for like jobs. Between 2010 and 2012 Dudley Council undertook an organisation wide grading and pay review to ensure parity of pay between roles, and pays staff equally dependent on roles.

 

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 requires employers with 250 or more employees to publicly disclose information regarding how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.

 

The analysis is based on the overall pay difference between Dudley’s male and female workforce and is provided in accordance with the six mandatory calculations that are required to be reported on to meet the Regulations.  These are:

 

Mean gender pay gap the difference in the mean hourly pay of male and female employees expressed as a proportion of the male figure

Median gender pay gap – the difference in the median hourly pay between male and female employees, expressed as a proportion of the male figure

Mean Bonus gender pay gap the difference in the mean bonus pay between male and female employees, expressed as a proportion of the male figure

Median Bonus gender pay gap the difference in the median bonus pay between male and female employees, expressed as a proportion of the male figure

Hourly pay quartiles the number of male and female employees in each quartile of the overall pay range

Bonus pay proportion the proportion of male and female employees who received a bonus in the year.

The overall gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the mean (average) or median (actual mid point between highest and lowest) of basic annual earnings of men and women and is expressed as a percentage of the mean or median basic annual earnings of men.  For purposes of clarification, the specific elements of pay are included i.e. basic pay, allowances, paid leave and shift pay – excluding overtime, and an average hourly pay rate is calculated for every employee based on these payments and working hours.  Dudley Council does not operate a bonus scheme and therefore bonus calculations are not necessary.

For purposes of definition, the gender pay gap differs from equal pay.  Equal pay relates to pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value.   The gender pay gap is a measure of any disparity in pay between the average earnings of male and female employees.

The makeup of the workforce at Dudley being mainly female affects the gender pay gap calculations, as will the distribution of the workforce.

Dudley Council also maintains most of its services in house, which affects the findings when compared to other authorities who have outsourced their services as these figures are not included in calculations.

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