Relevant or snapshot date and workforce data
The relevant or snapshot date is the key date on which the calculations must be made. The relevant date for this report is 31 March 2022 and it therefore reflects pay on that date and not pay received at the date of publication.
At the relevant date of 31 March 2022, South Hams District Council's (SHDC) workforce consisted of 309 employees, with 155 being female (50.16%), and 154 being male (49.84%). For comparative purposes, at 31 March 2021, the relative figures for the workforce was a total workforce of 298, with 153 females (51.3%) and 145 males (48.7%).
It is important to note that SHDC shares the majority of its workforce with West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) following a major restructure in 2015.
The newly created shared workforce in 2015 was roughly 75% SHDC and 25% WDBC. This was broadly in line with the size of the organisations before the shared workforce, and new employees are allocated to one of the Councils to keep that historic balance in place. There is no consideration of salary or gender when allocating new employees, although where a like for like replacement is appointed, the new employee is normally allocated the same employer as the predecessor.
At the relevant date of 31 March 2022, the shared workforce consisted of 409 employees, with 216 being female (52.8%) and 193 being male (47.2%). For comparative purposes, at 31 March 2021, the relative figures for the workforce was a total workforce of 395, with 211 females (53.4%) and 184 males (46.5%).
WDBC does not need to report its gender pay gap as it employs fewer than 250 people.
Findings and Observations
At the relevant date of 31 March 2022, SHDC had a gender pay gap of 7% based on mean earnings, and 9% based on median earnings.
This is the second time SHDC has reported a gender pay gap where male employees earn more than female employees. Historically, the Council had a negative gender pay gap (i.e., female employees earned more than male employees) primarily because of the dominance of male employees in the waste and recycling teams, whose earnings were mainly in the lower two quartiles and amounted for over 20% of the total workforce.
In October 2023, the waste and recycling service was brought back in-house and it is therefore predicted that the Council will show a negative gender pay gap when it reports in March 2024.
At the relevant date of 31 March 2022, there was a gender pay within the shared workforce of 6% based on mean earnings, and 10% based on median earnings.
Whilst this gender pay gap is within a level of tolerance, the Council needs to remain vigilant about a future gender pay gap drift, and it remains important that its policies to protect against discrimination in pay and grading, promotion and appointment to senior roles are always adhered to.
Through the Council's job evaluation scheme, it can demonstrate that female and male employees are paid the same rate of pay for the same work, like work, or work rated as equivalent in accordance with its obligations under the equal pay provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
As mentioned above, the headline figure will be reversed in 2024 to show a negative gender pay gap. However, this will be because of the predominance of male employees in the waste service earning in the lower two quartiles and should not distract from the gender pay gap amongst the remainder of the workforce.