In the UK, public, private and voluntary sector organisations with 250 or more employees are required to report on their gender pay gaps annually. The report show the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. If an organisation reports a gender pay gap, it does not mean women are paid less than men for doing the same job, but it would show that, on average, men occupy higher-paying roles than women.
Employers must report six different measures, based on a snapshot of pay data on a date set out by the Government Equalities Office:
median gender pay gap – the difference between the median hourly rate of pay of male full pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees
mean gender pay gap – the difference between the mean hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees
median bonus gap – the difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees
mean bonus gap – the difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees
bonus proportions – the proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the relevant period
quartile pay bands – the proportions of male and female full-pay relevant employees in the lower, lower-middle, upper-middle and upper quartile pay bands.
Most headlines about the gender pay gap tend to focus on the median figure, which ignores extremes and is therefore thought to be the most representative measure. It is, however, important to report all of these measures. Each one tells you something different about the underlying causes of the gender pay gap and each one can mask issues that another may highlight.
Taking a ‘snapshot’ of this data on a set date, as required by regulation, creates a level playing field for all reporting organisations. However, it masks the fluidity of gender pay gaps, which can fluctuate from month to month and across pay quartiles depending on changes to headcount.
The gender pay gap looks at the distribution of men and women across all levels of the organisation, and how this translates into the average salary and bonus payments made as a result.
Specialist skillsets command very different salaries, so the potential for significant differences in salary is much higher.
In an organisation of 89% women, relatively small changes in the distribution of men across the different pay quartiles in the organisation can have a significant impact on our gender pay gap.
Over the last 12 months we have parted company with two practices, whilst focussing on a recruitment effort targeting highly skilled senior clinical professionals, predominantly in the upper and upper-mid quartiles. Primary Care Network funding has supported this.
Overall, the analysis shows that Suffolk Primary Care does have significant gender imbalance in its overall workforce representation and pay. However, headline Mean and Median figures mask the significant imbalance between the overall workforce split. Men make up just 11% of the workforce,
however, 65% of this figure sits within the Upper quartile. Women make up 89% of the workforce, with 21% of being within the Upper quartile.
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