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Newham gender pay gap: 'Shining a light' on fair pay between men and women

PUBLISHED: 17:28 04 April 2018

Public bodies, charities and businesses employing 250 or more staff have been reporting the percentage difference between what they pay men and women on average per hour. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Public bodies, charities and businesses employing 250 or more staff have been reporting the percentage difference between what they pay men and women on average per hour. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Public bodies, charities and businesses across the borough have reported differences in men and women's pay for the first time.

Employers with 250 or more staff have to report average differences in pay between all male and female employees by law at midnight tonight.

The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay, which deals with the difference between what men and women are paid for doing the same job. The figures reported this year are a snapshot of pay taken in one day last year.

Female employees at Newham Council – which has 4,393 staff – earn on average 6.9 per cent less than men meaning women earn 93p for every £1 men make. The 2016 UK average was 18.1pc.

Barts Health NHS Trust reported a pay gap of 20.2pc. It said the quarter of its staff who are male are paid on average one fifth more than the three quarters of women employees.

Despite having more women in junior roles, Barts is relatively balanced at senior levels with more women in its higher pay bands than men (1,886 compared to 1,624). Women account for 58pc of the highest earning employees.

However, there is evidence of gender imbalance among senior managers, medical, dental and admin posts. In a statement on its website, a spokeswoman said: “The Trust is already under way with activities which will help close the gender pay gap.”

Housing firm L&Q reported an average gender pay gap of 15.7pc while on average female workers at Newham College earned 98p for every £1 a male colleague made. At the University of East London (UEL) women earned 8.7pc less then men per hour on average.

UEL senior lecturer Elaine Yerby welcomed pay reporting, but said more needs to be done to break down stereotypes around jobs: “The big question is about why work associated with women tends to be paid less. Gender is really the starting point. There’s disparity between certain ethnic groups in Newham as well.”

She went on to urge women who work for employers that don’t have to report gender pay to ask bosses about their approach to fair pay. “This all comes at a time of momentum on women’s issues and shines a light on something important to us,” she said.

“What we also really want to see is some wealth redistributed down from executives’ pay.

“It wouldn’t be okay for a handful of women to benefit from any changes,” she added.

UEL chair of governors, Geoff Thompson MBE said: “We are very encouraged by the results of our equal pay audit, which shows that the gender pay gap at the University of East London has reduced and is heading in the right direction.

“However, we are not complacent. We have an action plan to address gender inequalities and this includes supporting female employees through networking, mentoring and development programmes.

“We are also doing a lot of work to improve our flexible working culture across the university for all staff, recognising the link between the gender pay gap and the imbalance in caring and parenting responsibilities. We are also working on our recruitment strategy to attract more women to higher graded posts,” he added.

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