Hartlepool college plays down gender pay gap figures as companies react to report

Men working at Hartlepool College of Further Education are paid 40% more than women, new figures have revealed.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 2:41 pm

Companies with more than 250 workers were called to submit the difference in wages between men and women to the Government.

It showed the employer with the highest median pay gap between the genders is the college, with a 40.4% disparity.

Hartlepool College of Further Education has the greatest pay gap between men and women it employs.

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This means that women earn 60p for every £1 that men earn.

A college spokesperson said: “Although this statistic appears alarming at first we want to clarify a couple of key points related to the median gender pay gap.

“Unlike most other colleges we do not outsource any of our services such as catering and cleaning. 
“These are lower paid jobs, which are predominantly filled by females.

“We have no gender pay gap within each level and scale across the organisation.”

Hartlepool Borough Council's civic centre headquarters in Victoria Road.

The data submitted by companies shows it was followed by Camerons Brewery, which has a gap of 24.4%, AD Astra Academy Trust, which operates primary schools including Brougham Primary, West Park, West View, with 13.9%, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust 13.2%, Hartlepool Borough Council with 8.3% and Cleveland Fire Brigade with 3%

At the other end of the median scale, Wear Inns Limited, which is based in Castle Eden, pay women and men equally, reporting a 0% difference.

The average median pay gap for companies based in Hartlepool was 18%, which compares to a national average of 12%.

Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool.

A council spokesman said: “The council has equality of pay and we welcome gender pay gap reporting.

“At 8.3% the council’s average gender pay gap is substantially below the national public sector average of 19.4%, and in Hartlepool’s case the gender pay gap is due largely to the fact that we have a considerable number of female staff who work on a part-time basis.

“We already implement many of the priority actions which the Government is recommending to employers to help reduce gender pay gaps.

“For example, when recruiting we do our very best to attract a diverse mix of candidates and we have a work culture which supports staff wherever possible to work flexibly, including flexitime, working from home, job-sharing and part-time working.

Hartlepool College of Further Education has the greatest pay gap between men and women it employs.

“We also support our staff who have caring responsibilities, through arrangements including maternity/paternity leave, shared parental leave, unpaid leave of absence and career breaks.

“Furthermore, thanks to a rigorous job evaluation process, we are confident that our staff are being remunerated fairly, and we encourage all our staff – irrespective of gender – to develop their skills and to progress their careers on merit. There could not be a clearer example of this than the fact that of our six most senior management positions, five are held by women.”

A spokesperson for the hospital trust said: “At North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust we believe in promoting equality and diversity amongst our workforce and in reducing the gender pay gap.

“The trust is committed to ensuring an equitable workforce.”

A spokesman for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “The Brigade is confident that its gender pay gap does not mean we are paying men and women differently for the same role or equivalent work.

“We also have an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy in place which includes addressing the gender pay gap.”

Hartlepool Borough Council's civic centre headquarters in Victoria Road.

Last year it became Government policy that all UK companies employing more then 250 people submit the details of their gender pay gap by Wednesday night, with public bodies given a deadline of March 30.

Organisations were required to release both the mean and median difference in hourly rate, as well as the proportion of women in each pay quartile.

There are no penalties for businesses with a wide gender pay gap, but there are plans to publish league tables highlighting those which fail to even out the differences.

The information is available to view online via https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/.

Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool.