What is the Gender Pay Gap?
Under the Public Sector Equality Duty, public sector organisations must publish annual workforce information. This data is in addition to this and should be used to ensure that work is undertaken to narrow any gaps and identify gender inequality in the workplace.
The Gender Pay Gap regulations were introduced in 2017. Gender pay gap calculations are based on a snapshot date - for public sector organisations this is 31st March each year.
Gender Pay Gap should not be confused with equal pay. The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women in a workforce whereas equal pay deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value.
The gender pay gap in the UK has been declining slowly over time; over the last decade it has fallen by approximately a quarter amongst full-time employees and by just over one-fifth among all employees. In 2020, the gap among all employees in the UK fell to 15.5%, from 17.4% in 2019. (ONS 2020)
Is there a gender pay gap at East Sussex Fire and Rescue?
East Sussex Fire and Rescue (ESFRS) need to report on data including the mean gender pay gap (13.62%) and the median gender pay gap (13.64%). We also report on the percentage of males and females in each quartile band which you can find in our full public report (see below).
Both our Mean and Median measures indicate that we have a pay gap where women have a lower average hourly rate than their male colleagues.
What are we doing to close the gap?
We have identified a number of actions we can undertake to address the pay gap within ESFRS, including continuing to work to deliver the Authority’s People Strategy 2021 – 2025 which includes:
- Continue work on identifying, understanding and reducing the pay gaps by scrutinising the Gender Pay Gap report and making recommendations.
- Develop and implement a continuous approach to positive action for the Service, starting with Firefighter recruitment.
- Development of coaching and mentoring schemes which can be used to support female progression in the workplace,
- Development of workforce plans and succession plans which will provide further valuable data to assist us in closing the gender pay gap
- Further roll out of staff surveys which will, again, provide rich data to inform our future workplace practices
These are actions that the Service are taking to address gender equality more broadly, albeit they will also support in closing the gap. We will also continue to work with our Gender Inclusion Network, utilise the Government Equalities Office publications and support flexible working options where possible to ensure everyone has the opportunity to obtain their full potential. We will also continue to utilise the data we have gathered alongside best practice to inform our approach when considering attraction, recruitment, retention, development and progression.