Council committed to tackling gender pay gap with its staff

Female employees at Sheffield Council are earning up to £4,000 less than men.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 08 May, 2019, 16:40
Prof Peter Prowse of Sheffield Hallam University

New figures from business and finance company Rangewell show the gender pay gaps of local authorities nationwide.

In Sheffield, the median hourly rate for men is £13.05 – compared to £10.95 for women. Looking at these rates on an annual basis, the difference is just over £4,000.

The good news is the pay gap has not increased this year and Sheffield is better than some other neighbouring authorities.

Sheffield Council says men and women are paid the same wage for doing the same job.

Mark Bennett, director of HR and customer services, said: “Sheffield Council evaluates all our jobs to determine the salary of each role and men and women are paid the same for carrying out the same work.

“We are committed to reducing the gender pay gap within the council, we know that we have one of the lowest gender pay gaps of councils in the region, however, we are not complacent and are determined to continue to take action to reduce this further.

“Our plan will ensure all women feel encouraged and are able to successfully apply for available jobs within the council.

“We promote flexible working and we support women to develop their skills and qualifications to progress their careers, including into the most senior leadership roles.”

Peter Prowse, a professor of HR management and employment relations at Sheffield Hallam University, has reviewed 2017/18 and 2018/19 and compared Sheffield to Leeds and Barnsley councils’ gender pay gap data.

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He said: “The Sheffield figures exclude people working for subcontractors such as Capita, Amey and the school dinner caterers Taylor Shaw. These companies are all out of the frame for comparison. Some local authorities such as Barnsley still employ staff in-house rather than subcontractors.

“In Sheffield Council, 59 per cent of people in the lowest quarter are women but the gender pay gap has reduced from 67 per cent the previous year (2017/18).

“In comparison with Leeds and Barnsley Councils, the pay gap is not as bad. The gap has not increased at Sheffield which is also good news. There are less women than the year before on the lowest pay.

“The council has lost 25 per cent of its employees and frozen recruitment because of austerity. There are no pay bonuses for men or women recorded in the Council Equal Pay Audit.

“Sheffield has also paid the ‘real’ Living Wage which has increased pay for its lowest paid workers. Most of these are women.”

Unfortunately, middle-aged women are the group most likely to miss out on promotion at work in all sectors.

Prof Prowse added: “Ninety per cent of people who are employed part time are women and we know that part-time women, especially those over the age of 40, are less likely to be promoted.”

There are more details on the gender pay gap here https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/gender-pay-gap.html