Police force's gender pay gap increases
The median pay rate for male staff across the Northamptonshire force is £5.80 more an hour than for women
The gender pay gap within Northamptonshire police force increased last year, according to a recent report.
The difference in median pay between male and female staff increased by 8.7 per cent, rising to 29.3 per cent, according to its own Gender Pay Gap report.
The force employs 2,411 staff, 1365 of whom are police officers, with more than two thirds (65.2 per cent) of officers being male.
Across the workforce the median hourly pay rate for men is £19.71, compared to £13.91 for women.
Men take 65.3 per cent of the jobs in the upper pay quartertile, while roughly the same proportion (66.2 per cent) of women hold jobs in the lower pay quartile.
The force, which is led by Chief Constable Nick Adderley, says in a public sector organisation with fixed salaries there are many reasons why a gender pay gap may exist and the ‘reasons tend to be subtle, complex and a combination of organisational and socio-economic factors.’
It says it has examined the data and is committed to doing everything it can to reduce the pay gap.
A statement provided to NN Journal by Northamptonshire Police said:
“Firstly, it is important to understand the distinction between equal pay (as defined in the Equal Pay Act 1970) and the Gender Pay Gap.
“Northamptonshire Police complies with all legislation regarding equal pay - our pay scales/bands are fixed and transparent and men and women are paid at the same rate for work of the same/equal value.
“The Gender Pay Gap looks at actual pay rather than rates of pay, and considers factors such as overtime and allowances (such as shift/antisocial hours payments and on-call/standby payments) as well as leadership positions.
“There are many reasons why a gender pay gap may exist, but in a public sector organisation with fixed salaries, the reasons tend to be subtle, complex and a combination of organisational and socio-economic factors.
“We have examined our data to identify the causes for us, and many of them are linked to self-selection into roles with less antisocial hours, reducing actual take-home pay, or self-deselection from roles which attract overtime, on-call or stand-by duties, thereby reducing the opportunity to earn more pay.
“We are working to break down the barriers that women face regarding their self-deselection from certain roles and this has included working with our Positive Action Team to both encourage and support women through the promotions process, creating a programme called the Springboard Women’s Development Programme which sets women up for leadership roles and creating an internal Gender Forum to provide greater support to women and highlight any issues they face.
“We have also reviewed internal policies such as parental leave to remove any barriers to continued development, provided maternity coaching and produced Menopause guidance information for managers to help educate and inform around this often-taboo subject.
“We remain committed to doing everything we can to close the gender pay gap, but this is a long-term commitment to addressing complex and deep-rooted issues that are not unique to Northamptonshire Police, nor to any other police force.
“It will take a long time and significant effort for it to have a noticeable impact on the annual Gender Pay Gap figures but we are in this for the long-term and will continue working hard to reduce the gap.”
The most senior female police officer working for Northamptonshire Police is assistant chief constable Pauline Sturman. Along with fellow assistant chief constable Simon Blatchly, she comes under deputy chief constable Simon Nickless and the chief constable.
The force has never had a female chief constable.
Read the Gender Pay Gap Report in full here.
Last year the Guardian reported that the gender pay gap at the UK’s biggest firms is also growing.