Edinburgh Council’s gender pay gap revealed in new report

The Council's gender pay gap data has been released.
The Council's gender pay gap data has been released.
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THe full extent of the gender pay gap between men and women working for the city’s local authority has been detailed in a new report.

The city council has a gender pay gap of five per cent for all staff, while the difference is more than 20 per cent for part-time employees.

Around 70 per cent of council staff are female who earn an average hourly rate of £12.79, while male counterparts are paid an average of £13.47 an hour.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the hourly wage men and women earn, and figures have to be published by companies that employ at least 250 people.

Cllr Alasdair Rankin, finance and resources convener, said: “The overall gender pay gap is relatively low at the council but we acknowledge that more needs to be done.

“We need to ensure that our employees succeed based on their skills, knowledge and behaviour and that we’re agile and diverse so we can deliver the broad range of services we provide to our community.

“We want ... [to] ensure that recognition and reward are not gender-related.”

The council will review its recruitment and selection policy, paying attention to occupational segregation and also take a closer look at its reward arrangements. The authority’s career progression and talent approaches will also be looked at, along with aligning work undertaken regarding education and schools.

The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. Equal pay is the equal payment of men and women for undertaking the same work. Men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across the city council.

The council will also investigate roles where men occupy more senior roles than women in the same occupation, occupational segregation where men and women do different jobs, and gender differences in time in the job, which is influenced in part by career breaks.

Green Cllr Claire Miller called for more action to close the gap and for the council to set an example for other employers across the Capital.

She said: “It’s great to see us with a fairly low gender pay gap. It’s sad that we have one still, but it is fairly respectable in the grand scheme of things. There are areas where we could do better – some of that is societal and social.

“The council is a big employer in the city. We have a vast amount of influence. I think by setting the right policies and the right tone in the way that we deal with this gender pay gap, we not only influence our own workforce, but also provide an influence across the city.

“I’m really keen that we work hard on this. Until we’ve got a zero pay gap, I think we need to keep on looking at it.”

Almost eight in 10 firms have a pay gap in favour of men, while eight per cent of companies reported no pay gap at all. Close the Gap reported in 2016 that on average, women in Scotland earn 15 per cent less per hour than men.

The Scottish Parliament has a gender pay gap of 11.1 per cent while Edinburgh Airport’s figure is 14.1 per cent.

The latest data showed that Edinburgh Leisure had a gender pay gap slightly in favour of women.