Portsmouth councillor: ‘We need to make sure that young men are not left behind by gender pay gap’

MORE information on pay is needed to avoid sexism towards men, a Portsmouth councillor has said.

At an employment committee yesterday councillors heard the council's most recent gender pay gap report that revealed its female employees earned on average 9.55 per cent less than its male workers in March this year.

The gender pay gap - although one Portsmouth councillor wants to make sure that men are not missing out

The gender pay gap - although one Portsmouth councillor wants to make sure that men are not missing out

This was a drop from the previous year when female staff at the council earned 11.34 per cent less than male employees.

The most recent national statistics, from 2017, showed that the national gender pay gap for all employees, full and part-time was 18.4 per cent.

For the council's head of human resources, Jon Bell, this was promising. He said: 'While the council's gender pay gap compares favourably with that across the whole UK economy, we are not complacent and are committed to doing everything that we can to continue to reduce the gap.'

But Tory Cllr Luke Stubbs, felt a more rounded report was needed for true gender equality. Speaking to the committee he said: 'In last year's report there was a breakdown by age. It showed that for workers in their 20s, women earned more. There is nothing in this report about how men in their 20s are earning less. Surely to not be seen to be sexist this should be published.

Councillor Luke Stubbs

Councillor Luke Stubbs

'And where is your action plan to do something about this?'

Officers confirmed this was something that could be considered for the next gender pay gap report.

Cllr Darren Sanders added: 'It's ironic that it is five boys discussing this.'

He was also keen that the council stood by its pledge to pay all employees the voluntary living wage. 'I would be very grateful for any updates on what steps are being taken to ensure we continue to be a living wage employer,' he said.

The gender pay gap data supplied includes all staff in post with Portsmouth City Council on March 31, 2018 who earned their full pay. At that time, there were 5,294 relevant full pay employees, which is made up by 3,853 females (73 per cent) and 1,441 (27 per cent) males.

Mr Bell explained how the types of jobs affected the gap. 'We are confident that our gender pay gap is not the result of men and women being paid differently for doing equivalent work,' he said.

'However, a lot of our lower paid jobs tend to be held by women, which means that the average salary for women tends to be lower.

'Portsmouth City Council is committed to equal pay for all employees. We have a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of their gender. We provide regular job evaluation training and evaluate job roles and pay bands as necessary to ensure a fair structure.'