The pay gap between women and men working in Government has increased from 18.3% to 24.3% in just two years.
The Gender Pay Gap Review Panel found that in the two years since the publication of their first report in 2019 little to no progress had been made to close the gender pay gap.
In their follow-up review, published yesterday, the Panel also noted that PWC’s Channel Islands Women in Work Index 2021 found that workplace gender inequality in the Channel Islands increased between 2017 and 2019, with Jersey falling from 20th to 24th of the 35 jurisdictions examined.
In its first report, the Panel recommended the annual publication of a public sector gender pay gap report, starting with a report by the end of 2020.
Pictured: There were no woman earning over £179,999 in 2020.
The Panel also recommended that action should be taken to reduce the gender pay gap and address any issues identified in the Government’s report - both of which were accepted by the Chief Minister.
The first public sector gender pay gap report, published in October 2019, showed that the difference in the average (median) pay between all men and women in the workforce was 18.3%. The figures for 2020, published in April 2021, shows the median average has gone up from 18.3% to 24.3%.
The report explained that there are more men in senior roles within Government than women and that new appointments, leavers and pay increases at the top tiers have contributed to the increase in the median average.
Whilst just over 65% of the Government workforce is female, they are mainly found in the lower salary bands, with no woman earning over £179,999 (the report was compiled before the appointment of the Government’s first female Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne Wylie).
Pictured: Women remain underrepresented on the boards of States-owned and majority owned entities.
The Panel also found that women remain underrepresented on the boards of States-owned and majority owned entities as their number had only slightly improved since 2019.
The Panel noted that, in the absence of statutory reporting lines, figures are not available for the private sector.
“Very few private sector organisations currently disclose their gender pay gap, but the Panel believes they should be encouraged to do so as tracking and reporting progress can identify issues that need addressing,” the report states.
The Panel however said they had been encouraged to see some organisations publish their gender pay and diversity information, some of which have only recently started to do so.
Ogier published their first pay gap report in October 2021, which showed there was a 30% difference in the mean hourly pay of men and women at the firm due to the amount of men in senior positions.
Pictured: The Gender Pay Gap Review Panel wants to local businesses to report on their gender-pay gap.
One of the Panel’s recommendations is to introduce statutory gender-pay gap reporting in the island, with a requirement for businesses to publish a five-year action plan alongside their reports.
The Panel believes law drafting instructions to be issued by the end of the year, and that businesses should be consulted on the threshold level (which would exclude smaller businesses from being required to report) and on what level of support businesses might require in order to report on their gender pay gaps effectively.
The Panel welcomed the Government’s “ambition to be a forward-thinking organisation” through its People Strategy and its Flex Positive initiative, which aims to create a flexible working environment; but noted it hadn’t used a gender sensitive approach to its policies in response to the pandemic, which disproportionately impacted women in the home and workplace and exacerbated the gender pay gap.
In addition to mandatory reporting for the private sector, the Panel recommended the Government introduce flexible working practices which are inclusive to everyone, introduce a political lead for diversity, equality, and inclusion – in addition to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant appointed last November – and gather relevant data and publish gender statistics to implement a gender mainstreaming approach.
The Panel also wants the Education Minister to audit local childcare providers, pre-school and primary schools to ensure gender neutral practices within the curriculum and the general culture and ethos.
Pictured: The gender pay gap has widened among Government employees.
“It is disappointing to see not only the lack of progress that has been made to close Jersey’s gender pay gap since our first review, but that this gap has only widened,” Deputy Louise Doublet, the Panel’s Chair, said.
“It is evident that, along with factors such as gender stereotyping from school age, unconscious bias in the workplace, and women taking on more domestic and caring responsibilities, the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively contributed towards the growing gender disparity.
“We are, however, pleased to see a number of Government initiatives being introduced to tackle this. We hope that our recommendations will not only assist the Government in achieving its goal of closing the gender pay gap but ensure that, through statutory reporting, other businesses are held accountable and work towards achieving gender equality in Jersey.”
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