The Council, Staffing and Pay

Gender pay gap

Devon County Council Gender Pay Gap as at 31st March 2017

  1. Devon County Council is required to comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 and publish Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting information for its workforce on an annual basis, through a submission to the Government and on the Council’s website.
  2. A GPG is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings, for example, ‘women earn 15% less than men per hour’. It is an indicator of the differences in opportunity and choices of men and women within the work place. It is not a measure of equal pay i.e. whether men and women receive equal pay for equal work. Every job at Devon County Council is evaluated and assigned a grade which determines how much job holders are paid. Therefore everyone performing the same role is paid the same grade irrespective of their gender.
  3. The Government state[1] that gaps exist for a number of complex and overlapping reasons, including ‘a higher proportion of women choose occupations that offer less financial reward (e.g. administration)’ and that ‘many high paying sectors are disproportionately made up of male workers (e.g. information and communications technology)’; a ‘much higher proportion of women work part-time and part-time workers earn less than their full-time counterparts on average’ and ‘women are still less likely to progress up the career ladder into high paying senior roles’. It is important to remember that a GPG does not necessarily mean an organisation has acted inappropriately or discriminatorily.
  4. Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, Devon County Council is required to publish figures on its own and the Government’s website by 31st March 2018 and annually thereafter. The data provided must be based on pay as at 31st March the preceding year (i.e. at 31st March 2017 for the 2018 submission).
  5. In accordance with the Regulations, employees of Devon maintained schools are treated as being employed by the governing body of the school and not as Council employees. Consequently, employees in maintained schools have been excluded from the Council’s calculations. The duty to report GPG information applies to organisations with 250 or more employees. None of Devon’s maintained schools individually exceed this figure and so will not need to make a submission. However, there are federations of multiple schools which collectively exceed 250 employees and HR advice is being provided to these federations
  6. Devon County Council’s mean GPG is 13.5%. The median is 17% which is less than the national average of 18.1%[2].
  7. There is a greater percentage of women than men in all pay quartiles. However, the percentage increases down through the pay quartiles, which means the proportion of women increases down through the grades:
    Pay QuartilesFemaleMale
    Upper middle72%28%
    Lower middle76%24%
  1. As Devon County Council does not pay bonuses the percentage difference between men and women’s bonuses is 0.
  2. In addition to the data that is legally required, some additional statistics have been produced to aid understanding of the GPG within the Council:
    1. The Graph below shows that the Council has significantly more women than men on grades A to H, but the differential reduces at Grade T and above.
    2. In 2016 the ONS published statistics for the Public Sector but for full-time employees only (full-time is defined as more than 30 hours per week). This indicates that Devon County Council has a significantly smaller GPG for full-time employees than the Public Sector National Average:
      National Average9.4%
      Public Sector11.3%
      Devon County Council8.8%
    3. Part-time workers (male and female) are paid less on average nationally than full-time workers. The Council’s GPG will therefore be affected by the fact that 34.3% of the Council’s workforce are part-time women, but less than 5% are part-time men.
  1. Although the Council’s GPG is lower than national averages the Council will explore further the potential reasons for the GPG, with the aim of reducing the GPG where possible. This will involve:
    1. Working with service areas, particularly those with higher than the Council’s average GPG, to identify the causes of the GPG, measures already in place and what other actions could be taken to support a reduction of the GPG.
    2. Integrating GPG data into future service area workforce planning processes to proactively consider gender differences within progression and succession planning.
    3. Reviewing service areas where there is a high proportion of women in low graded posts to assess whether there are natural progression opportunities. Where natural progression opportunities exist, analysis will be conducted to see whether an appropriate proportion of women are applying for and attaining promotion. Where natural progression opportunities do not currently exist, consideration will be given as to what appropriate action could be taken.
  2. However, it is recognised that some of the reasons for the GPG are out of the Council’s direct control. For example, the Council can have limited immediate effect on the fact that nationally more women choose occupations that offer less financial reward. Devon County Council respects and supports individuals’ choices about their lives and does not want to be perceived to put pressure on people to make career decisions to improve their pay levels, such as working full time or progressing to a higher paid job, if that is not what they want. Research by the Institute of Employment Studies[3] indicates that ‘to make significant progress, multiple initiatives must be pursued over a sustained time period and with co-operation between all key stakeholders, including employers, government, employees, unions and experts/academics’ and the Council supports this approach.


Phil Norrey, Chief Executive

13 March 2018


[2] Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2016