Gender pay gap at Cardiff council doubled last year
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
The gender pay gap among staff working for Cardiff council doubled last year from the rate the previous year.
The rate at which male council staff are paid more than female staff increased from 3.21 per cent in 2019, to 6.85 per cent in 2020.
The median hourly rate men were paid increased by 7p to £12.85, while the median hourly rate women were paid decreased by 40p to £11.97.
While the gap is less than the UK average, the council is now facing calls to do more to address its gender pay gap.
During a full council meeting on Thursday, Liberal Democrat Councillor Bablin Molik said: “I don’t think Cardiff council and the current administration are doing what they can with the powers they have in addressing gender inequality.
“The pay gap has gone from just over three per cent to almost seven per cent in favour of men, in one year.”
More women working for Cardiff council have taken sickness absences due to Covid-19 than men, according to council documents. Just under three quarters of staff off sick with coronavirus were women.
Cllr Molik said: “We need to look into the reasons why women are having to go off sick. This statistic is not a figure just to quote on a pay policy document. It is a figure that needs to be addressed and fixed. I want to see actions taken to address this pay gap.”
But the council does have “many good practices” already to address the gender pay gap, according to Cllr Chris Weaver, cabinet member for finance.
He said: “There are many good practices in terms of flexible working, supported working and recruitment that happen within this authority. There remains that pay gap and that’s why it’s crucial that organisations publish this and discuss this and we discuss this in society.
“But I take issue with the idea the council is not seeking to address that. The difference is there and it is small, and we will see small variations every year, as you would expect.
“In every quartile in the council, Cardiff council employs more women than men. In the highest paid quartile, we employ more women than men. Our challenge is that we employ slightly proportionately more men in that higher quartile than we do in the lower quartiles.
“This is reflected across society to a much greater extent than it is within the council. We have significant policies to ensure that our recruitment is diverse, inclusive and representative of the city.”
The difference between how much the council pays its male and female staff is published each year as part of the annual pay policy statement, which also includes figures on how much council bosses are paid.
No details however are published on the ethnicity pay gap: the difference between how much white staff are paid compared to black, Asian and ethnic minority staff.
Cllr Molik said: “I would like to see the black and ethnic minority pay gap within our workforce reported. These inequalities need to be taken seriously, held to account and addressed.”
The council is planning to publish more data on this issue, Cllr Weaver explained.
He said: “We will be seeking to publish greater information around our members of staff from different ethinc groups as well, so that we understand and are being transparent about that situation too.”