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Gender pay gap at councils in Kent

Men are being paid more than women at every council in Kent except one, newly-released figures have revealed.

Companies across the UK with 250 or more employees have been made to publish their gender pay gap data under a new legal requirement for the public, private, and voluntary sectors.

The snapshot of employee pay includes average pay for men and women, plus bonuses.

Just one council in Kent pays women more than men
Just one council in Kent pays women more than men

Across the UK, men earned 18.4% more than women in April 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women.

Here, the figures show Kent County Council having a mean pay gap of 12.6%, with women paid 87p for every pound earned by male employees.

The gap is smaller for Medway Council at 8.3%, but seven of the 12 borough, district or city councils across the county have submitted figures showing a gender pay gap more than 10%.

The largest hourly wage differences from the county’s local councils come from Dartford Borough Council (23.7%) and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (23.9%), where women are paid on average just 76p for every one pound paid to men.

Thanet District Council is the only Kent local authority that pays its female employees more than its male staff.

The report sees organisations publishing both a mean and median gender pay gap figure based on hourly rate.

The mean hourly rate is the average hourly wage across the entire organisation - a measure of the difference between women’s mean hourly wage and men’s mean hourly wage.

Illustrative graphic
Illustrative graphic

The median hourly rate is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid, and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle - the difference between the middle paid woman’s wage and the the middle paid man’s.

Employers also have the option to include a narrative with their calculations to explain the reasons for the results, and give details about actions they are taking to tackle the gap.

Kent Councty Council said it has “a long standing commitment to the promotion of equality and fairness in the workplace" and goes on to mention how its audit system attempts to uphold this”.

“We know from undertaking equal pay audits previously that we pay men and women in a consistent way for work of equal value," it said.

"This is underpinned by a grading structure and job evaluation system which considers roles rather than gender differences.”

The authority went on to say that despite this, it’s “important not to be complacent.”

On Monday, a group of MPs, led by Labour’s Stella Creasy, launched an online campaign called #PayMeToo, aiming to give working women advice on how to tackle the gender pay where they work.

It’s been backed by fellow Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Lucy Powell; Conservative MP Nicky Morgan; Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran; as well as the Scottish National Party’s Hannah Bardell and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.

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