Doncaster Council plays down stats showing it has the worst gender pay gap in the whole of Yorkshire

Doncaster Council has the worst gender pay gap in Yorkshire because a larger proportion of female staff work in lower paid jobs, the local authority has said.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 10:37 am
Doncaster Council, Civic Office
Doncaster Council, Civic Office

Figures show men working within DMBC are paid nearly 15 per cent more on average than their female counterparts – the highest in the region.

Out of 23 councils across the region, Sheffield, Craven, Calderdale and York had some of the best figures while West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Hull and Kirkless all paid men on average between 10 and 11 per cent more than women. 

Women working in Hambleton Council in North Yorkshire were paid over 10 per cent more on average than men. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But Doncaster council bosses say the figures are ‘distorted’  and claimed ‘you can’t compare like for like authorities’. 

HR boss Jill Parker laid the blame at the ‘workforce distribution’ and said 77 per cent of women make up ‘critical frontline and support service roles’.  

The council’s own report shows this is ‘particularly evident in the cleaning, catering and care services’ which have a ‘large female workforce’.

Ms Parker said the ‘proportional pay gap’ was -0.42% per cent and said across all grades there is ‘no significant gender pay gap’.

The statistics come despite outgoing chief executive Jo Miller earning over £160,000 in basic salary and elected mayor Ros Jones who accepts half of the £60,000 a year packet. 

But the latest figure shows the gender pay gap at Doncaster Council fell from 15.7 per cent to 14.8 per cent comparing the previous year. 

Jill Parker, assistant director of HR, communications & the executive office, said: “The gender pay gap figure is a product of our organisational structure and workforce distribution.  The largest proportion of our workforce – over half – are working in critical frontline and support service roles, and 77% of this group are female. This means that the overall pay gap is distorted, reflecting workforce composition rather than pay inequalities. 

“Like some other local authorities, we are proud to still be responsible for in-house frontline roles in cleaning, catering and care services which still attract a large female workforce. Consequently, you can’t compare like for like with all authorities. We focus on our own yearly comparisons which show the overall trend for Doncaster’s published data has improved from 2017.

“We will continue to monitor our workforce, empower talent and ensure we have practices and working hours which are flexible that enable people to balance their work and life, therefore encouraging more women to make their career in the public sector work around their lives, and also support more women in returning to work on a flexible basis.”