Police Force Gender Pay Gaps

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2019 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
7 June 2019

Conference notes with concern the evidence of gender pay gaps for police staff in forces in England and Wales.

From 6 April 2018 all public sector employers, including police forces, have been required by law (Gender Pay Gap Regulations) to publish details of their gender pay gap. The requirement is for this data to be published every year in April. Forces have now published their gender pay gap data in April 2018 and April 2019.

Conference understands that there are likely to be multiple causes of the gender pay gap in police forces, including the following possibilities:

1)Some police force job evaluation schemes may undervalue the types of work and skills associated with work predominantly carried out by women;

2)Some job evaluation schemes used by police forces may not fully recognise the full range of skills in predominantly female jobs;

3)Occupational segregation can affect the police workforce, either horizontally where men and women are segregated in different parts of the workforce, or vertically where men tend to occupy the more senior roles within the workforce, and women occupy the more junior roles;

4)The unequal sharing of family responsibilities, such as the day-to-day care of children and relatives, coupled with a lack of flexible working arrangements often found in higher paid roles, can depress women’s rates of pay and means that they may be overrepresented in lower paid jobs than men;

5)Women may be over-represented in the part-time workforce.

Conference further notes that there were large differences in the gender pay gaps reported by forces in April 2018. The highest mean gender pay gap was 15.4% and the lowest 2.5%. The highest median gender pay gap was 27% and the lowest 0%.

Conference recognises that the publication of police force gender pay gaps is an opportunity for UNISON to seek to tackle gender pay discrimination on behalf of our women members. We need to understand what strategies those forces with lower gender pay gaps have in place and to learn from their success.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

a)Encourage branches to discuss the gender pay gap data for their force with their employer;

b)Seek to ensure that every force has a gender pay gap action plan to address the gender pay gap;

c)Encourage branches to seek to ensure that the gender pay gap action plan which has been produced by their force is the subject of collective bargaining going forward;

d)Gather evidence of good practice in forces on tackling the gender pay gap;

e)Work with the National Women’s Committee to keep the gender pay gap high on the agenda of police forces and police staff branches and to produce advice and guidance for branches on how to tackle the gender pay gap.