Huge ‘imbalance’ in council jobs as pay gap revealed Large number of women in part-time roles due to ‘regressive child care policy’, claims deputy
BIRMINGHAM City Council’s deputy leader has hit out at national child care policies which mean men working for the authority earn ten per cent more on average than women.
Deputy leader Brigid Jones admitted there was a “massive imbalance”, particularly among part-time roles predominantly filled by females.
It is the first time the council has published gender pay gap figures.
All employers with more than 250 staff are now legally required to issue the statistics.
A report, which used figures taken from March 31, 2017 and excluded school workers, showed that women accounted for two thirds (67 per cent) of the council’s staff.
That was heavily influenced by the fact females make up 84 per cent of the part-time roster due to “a higher proportion of women tending to seek a home life balance compared to men”, according to the report.
Full-time workers were more evenly split with 52 per cent being women and 48 per cent men.
The overall average pay gap showed that men typically pick up 9.1 per cent more than women, although it was far less than the national average of 17.4 per cent.
However, full-time women actual- ly tended to earn 5.2 per cent more than full-time men.
Cllr Jones said: “We have seen some truly shocking revelations come out so far [nationally] and no doubt there’s more to come as more and more employers publish.
“Here in Birmingham our figures compare favourably to the national average but there is still not a great story to tell.
“Women in full-time work actually, on average, earn more than men and that’s largely due to the large number of social workers, particularly female children social workers in our workforce.
“But if you look at the vast number of women in part-time work in the council it reflects a massive imbalance in our society perpetuated by highly regressive maternity and child care policies at a national level in this country. These mean 40 per cent of women in this country are in parttime work compared to only 12 per cent of men, and that is a major factor in the gender pay gap in this council.”
The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay although it is frequently confused with it.
Equal pay is ensuring men and women doing the same job are paid the same which has been a legal requirement for nearly half a century under the Equal Pay Act 1970.
The gender pay gap is the difference in average hourly pay between males and females covering all jobs from cleaners up to the chief executive.
There is no single reason behind the gap although it is commonly believed more women have care responsibilities for children or elderly relatives and are still more likely to be in low-skilled, low-paid jobs. There are also claims of discrimination against new mothers.
The vast number of women in parttime work in the council reflects a massive imbalance in our society Cllr Brigid Jones