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News | Published March 30 2019

'Gender pay gap' found in 96% of government departments and 90% of universities

Figures submitted to the Government Equalities Office have shown that 90 per cent of universities and 96 per cent of government departments pay the average male employee more than the average female employee. 

This is not the same as unequal pay, which is illegal, but reflects a difference in average pay. This is often caused by a lack of women in senior roles and the fact that part-time roles are more likely to be filled by women.

As reported by the BBC, the average median pay gap, the difference between the pay of the average male employee and the average female employee, among universities is 13.7 per cent. 

This is markedly higher than the national average of 9.1 per cent. It is, however, a decrease from last year, when the median pay gap among universities stood at 15.3 per cent.

The data also showed that two thirds of local councils and nearly every government department have pay gaps.

Every government department except for the Department for Work and Pensions has a median pay gap. 

The highest gap can be found at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who reported a 22.9 difference. One in three departments reported that the gap had widened since last year.

Today is the deadline for public sector bodies, with more than 250 employees, to submit their pay statistics to the Government Equalities Office. 

Private sector companies have a later deadline, having to submit their figures by April 4. This is the second year that companies have had to disclose their pay gap statistics.

Harper Adams University has the highest pay gap, at 33.7 per cent, and among Russell Group universities, Durham has the largest difference.

The average gap in local government is 3.7 per cent although 78 councils reported that they payed women more than men. Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire reported a 50 per cent gap in favour of women.

Responding to these statistics, both the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The Universities & Colleges Employers Association said they were working towards closing this gap.

The DCMS stated that “The overall civil service gender pay gap continues to narrow and we will continue to work hard to balance out wages at all levels of government.”


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Authored by

The Parliamentary Review

@theparlreview
March 30 2019

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