Women in Northamptonshire paid £14k less than men, Chron investigation reveals

A study by the Chronicle & Echo has found that women who work at a Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are paid £14,834 less on average than men in the organisation.

Tuesday, 18th April 2017, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:04 pm

NHS Nene CCG currently employ 166 employees in their organisation, 123 are female and only 43 workers are male.

The average pay of female employees at NHS Nene is £37,172 while men are paid £52,006, which is a significantly sizeable gender pay gap of £14,834.

On asking how the CCG intends to rectify this, Jennifer Morgan, spokewoman for NHS Nene said: "NHS Nene CCG follows the salary scale set out by the National Health Service. Each role has been created, evaluated and appointed to the appropriate banding on the salary scale in accordance with the role’s scope and level of responsibility, irrespective of gender."

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Under new laws put in place on Thursday, April 6, large employers were told by the Government that they would need to formulate their overall gender pay gap before publishing their data by April 2018.

This is in a bid to improve gender equality and reduce the difference between male and female earnings in the workplace.

There were four other main bodies who an FOI was submitted to by the Chron, including Northamptonshire Police who employ 2973 employees throughout the force. They had the second highest pay gap.

Data shows that the average pay of their 1669 male employees at the police is £45,031 while the average pay of their 1304 women is £33,785.69 with a gender pay gap of £11,246.25.

Claire Tompkins spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said: “The figures provided in the FOI response are for 2015/16 and reflect the employment picture at that time. The smaller number of females at the top of the organisation is reflected in the overall average pay, but it is important to note the same pay scales apply to both genders and there is no disparity in pay for carrying out the same role.

“We encourage and support progression through the organisation from all under-represented groups for both policing and police staff roles. In the past six months, we have recruited or promoted females into the following senior functions: Deputy Chief Constable, a Chief Superintendent, two Superintendents and three Chief Inspectors.

"We also have female heads of our human resources department and our Information services department.”

Giving an opposing view, branch secretary of Unison, Northants County, Penny Smith said: "If the Government is serious about tackling the gender pay gap it will need to ensure that the proposed gender pay regulations, which will require employers to publish gender pay information are sufficiently detailed to encourage employers to take action to address the causes of unequal pay.

"This unequal pay caused through gender inequality will only become worse in these times of austerity."

An FOI was also submitted to Northamptonshire Healthcare Trust Foundation (NHFT) who employ 3610 workers, 503 people are male and 3107 of them are female. Data shows that male staff are paid £32,251.31 and women on average are paid £22,422.46 with a gulf of £9828.85.

Dionne Mayhew, head of communications at Northamptonshire Healthcare Trust Foundation said: “We are aware of and in support of the new legislation regarding the review of gender pay gaps.

"We are already focussing on reviewing this at our Trust with a view to developing any actions to address this, should they be identified. At NHFT we adhere to the national Agenda for Change pay models, or similar role specific pay grading, for all our employees.”

Northamptonshire County Council revealed they employ 2738 Full-Time Employees (FTE), 2015 workers are female and 723 are men.

The average actual salary of FTE male employees is £29,330 while women are paid £26,280, highlighting that there is an earnings gulf of £3050 between men and women.

Joni Ager, spokeswoman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The gender pay gap is clearly a national issue across all sectors and the new Gender Pay Reporting requirements are intended to help address this.“Here at the county council, we have had a pay policy and a fair pay structure for all our employees for some time. All our jobs are carefully assessed using an established job evaluation system and jobs are then allocated a pay grade accordingly. So the pay levels are the same for men and women who undertake the same or equivalent roles.“When looking at pay information it is important to understand that mean average information based on pay and numbers for a large organisation, with a wide workforce profile, can be quite a crude calculation that does not take into account how many men/women are in each grade.“We will continue to monitor our workforce profile and where appropriate take the necessary action. Last month national reports showed that for some age-groups the pay gap stands at 40 per cent and runs on average at about 20 per cent. Our current gap is 10 per cent and we, as will many other employers, use the new Gender Pay reporting information to see if further work is required.”

Northampton Borough Council claims it does not hold such figures and cannot disclose the gender pay gap in their workforce as their “current IT system can’t produce these figures.”

Annie McGrath, communications officer for Northampton Borough Council said: “Northampton Borough Council does not currently collate separate figures for average pay based on gender as our current IT system can’t produce these figures.

"We are looking to upgrade our system which will allow us to report on this in the future, but in the meantime, we provided the closest information that we currently hold.”

Penny Smith branch secretary of Unison, Northants County campaigns for gender pay equality. She added: "When you're looking at figures between average what the chap earns, a lot of it is because the lowest paid jobs are held by women. We think they are not being promoted up and are not being nurtured in their careers. If women take a break to have a baby, they have to juggle caring responsibility around work progression.

"Some may take allotted maternity to come back and find out that people have been promoted around them or the job is not what it was. If you employ a man and women with a four-year-old you would think a lady would be more likely to be called out of work than the man. That's what the employer will think, the employer will assume women will stay at home with the child.

"Gender roles have expectations, which are still held within society. Society assumes dad will never be at home and there is an expectation women will leave work to pick up the child, why isn't there this expectation with the chap?

"Employers know about the equal pay gap of 1970, women expect equal pay in the workplace. They expect we have moved on and you're some radical feminist if you think otherwise."