The City Council report has revealed that, on average across the whole of the Council’s workforce, women earn 10.2% less than men.
This is the first year that the annual report has not included the ODS workforce (formerly Oxford Direct Services) in its statistics. This company is wholly owned by the Council and includes parks maintenance, refuse and recycling, and construction. ODS is now a separate company from the City Council and reports its gender pay gap data independently, under the terms of the Equalities Act.
This change has been clearly reflected in the Council’s gender pay statistics. In the last two years, the reports which included the ODS workforce showed that overall women actually earned slightly more than men.
The Council’s workforce is predominantly female, with women making up 401 members of staff or 58% of the workforce. However, many of these women work in lower-earning positions.
Men make up the vast majority of the ODS workforce, with 570 male members of staff making up 88% of the workforce, as of 31st March 2019.
Staff on the same salary point within each grade receive the same hourly pay, regardless of gender.
The Council claims that: “Success in closing the Council’s gender pay gap will be achieved through its employment policies and practices”. These practices include training and organisational development
initiatives to encourage participation by female colleagues within “higher graded” positions in the Council, as well as policies which facilitate greater flexibility in the time, place and manner by which work is performed. The Council also says it will enforce recruitment approaches and methods that “promote the Council as an employer of choice and place to build a great career, with access to a range of flexible working arrangements.”
Councillor Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities and Customer Focused Services, commented: “This year’s report reflects the change in the balance of the way women and men are employed within the City Council’s workforce after you have removed the ODS workforce data. Most importantly, it also shows that women are still not reaching the highest levels of the organisation in equal numbers as men.
“We have strong policies to support flexible working, parental leave and career development, which are shown to support women’s career progress. We are actively addressing the barriers through a planned programme to support more women and BAME candidates to progress internally, and to attract more diverse external candidates.