The Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations require all employers with 250 or more employees to report their Gender Pay Gap annually, publishing on a national Government website as well as the organisations website. The Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations apply to employers in the Public and Private sector.
In addition to these new regulations, employers in the public sector are subject to a specific public sector equality duty in respect of their functions – The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017.
The regulations apply to all employers with 250 or more employees on the “snapshot” date. The “snapshot” date for the public sector is 31st March each year. Therefore, the authority is required to publish its gender pay gap for each year on the Portsmouth City Council (PCC) website and on a government website, no later than 30th March of the following year. So, for the snapshot date of March 2022, the findings must be published no later than 30th March 2023.
The purpose of Gender Pay Gap reporting is to achieve greater gender equality across the UK and increase pay transparency by narrowing and eventually eliminating the pay differential between men and women.
In 2022, the national gender pay gap for full-time employees increased to 8.3%, up from 7.7% in 2021, meaning that average pay for full-time female employees was 8.3% lower than for full-time male employees. This is remains below the gap of 9.0% before the before the coronavirus pandemic in 2019.
The national gender pay gap for all employees, full and part-time in 2022 is 14.9% which is a slight decrease to that of 2021 when it was 15.4%. This latest change in the figures is more in line with the longer-term trend which is showing a continual decline.
It is important to note that the Coronavirus pandemic and the furlough scheme may have had an artificial impact on the national gender pay gap figures for 2020/21 and therefore it is encouraged to focus on long-term trends rather than year-on-year changes.
What is clear from the latest data is that a challenge remains in addressing the gender pay gap. The inequality of pay between men and women is affected by short-term labour market conditions, but longer-term social norms are also central to the gulf in remuneration.
The Government considers that this rate of progress is too slow and has committed to closing the gender pay gap within a generation.
PCC is committed to the principle of equal pay for all employees by ensuring that it meets the requirements of the Equality Act. To achieve this PCC uses a job evaluation system scheme (JESS) to assess the value of all jobs across the organisation, which provides evidence in support of the banding of each job within our grading structure. Salaries are paid according to band and incremental annual progression within the band occurs irrespective of employee’s gender.
Whilst the data on the age breakdown is not a statutory requirement under the legislation, this data has been included at the request of our Members. The ONS publishes national data on the age breakdown and the same categorisation and calculations used by the ONS have been replicated for the breakdown of the data for Portsmouth City Council.
- ONS Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2021
- ONS Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2022
The Regulations clearly define the methodology for the Gender Pay Gap calculations and reporting guidelines.
The regulations require employers to publish the following information:
- The mean gender pay gap;
- The median gender pay gap;
- The mean bonus pay gap;
- The median bonus pay gap;
- And the relative proportions of male and female employees in each quartile pay band.
The Regulations detail how to carry out the calculations and these are based on how the ONS undertakes their calculations to allow for comparisons to be made nationally against the data.
All public sector organisations are required to publish their reports by no later than 30th March of the following year.
The report will be based on hourly pay rates as of 31 March 2022 and on bonuses paid between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.
The regulations create two categories of people who have to be taken into account in the gender pay gap reporting: relevant employees and relevant full-pay employees.
For the purposes of gender pay gap reporting, the definition of an employee is that which is given in the Equality Act 2010. This is an extended definition which includes:
- Employees (those with a contract of employment)
- Workers with a contract to do work or provide services for your organisation
- Some self-employed people who have to personally carry out the work they do for you.
The gender pay gap calculation is based on the number of individual employees and not the full-time equivalent. This means that each part-time employee counts as one employee.
Apprentices, seasonal, temporary or casual employees and zero hours workers are included if they fall within the reference period created by the snapshot date.
Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is a measure of labour market or workplace disadvantage, expressed in terms of a comparison between males and females’ average hourly rates of pay. The gap can be measured in various ways, and it is important to understand how the gap is being measured. The hourly rates of pay, excluding overtime are used to take account of the fact that many more males than females work full-time. Overtime is excluded because it is recognised that male employees work more overtime than female employees due to female’s caring responsibility and part-time nature of work.
Equal pay means that there should be no difference in the contractual terms of a female and a male doing equal work, who both work for the same employer. For further details please refer to the Equality Act 2010.
The difference between Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay
The most important difference between equal pay and the gender pay gap is that equal pay requires one to scrutinise information at the level of the individual employee (to satisfy that there is equal pay for equal work). Gender pay gap reporting asks you to examine aggregate data.
Mean Gender Pay Gap
The difference between the mean hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees.
To calculate the mean
The mean is an average of all the numbers in a dataset, that is, you have to add up all the numbers and then divide the result by how many numbers you are dealing with. To find the mean hourly rate for PCC’s full-pay relevant male employees, all the hourly rates will be added together and then divided by the total number of full-pay relevant male employees. This will give the “mean” hourly rate.
Median Gender Pay Gap
The difference between the median hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees and that for female full-pay relevant employees.
To calculate the median
The median is the numerical value which splits the top 50% and the bottom 50%. To find the median, all the hourly rates for all employees will be listed in numerical order; if there are an odd number of values, the median is the number in the middle. If there is an even number, the median is the mean of the two central numbers.
Bonus pay means any remuneration that is in the form of money, vouchers, securities, securities options, or interests in securities and relates to profit sharing, productivity, performance, incentive, or commission. Non-consolidated bonuses are included. Long service awards with a monetary value are also included.
For PCC, this captures Long Service Awards and one-off honoraria payments. Regular honoraria payments are excluded from “bonus” calculations and included in “ordinary pay”.
Mean Bonus Gap
The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees.
Median Bonus Gap
The difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees.
The proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the relevant period.
Quartile Pay Bands
The proportions of male and female full-pay relevant employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
A quartile is one of the three points that divide the population of data into 4 equal parts. In the context of gender pay gap reporting, the four quartile pay bands are created by dividing the total number of full-pay relevant employee into four equal parts. For clarification, that is not PCC Pay bands.
A positive measure, for example 18%, indicates the extent to which females earn, on average, less per hour than their male counterparts.
A negative measure, for example -18%, indicates the extent to which females earn, on average, more per hour than their male counterparts. This may happen, for example, if PCC employ a high proportion of males in low-paid part-time work, and/or the senior and higher paid employees are female.
The Workforce Profile
The Gender Pay Gap data supplied is correct for all staff, including school staff, in post with Portsmouth City Council on 31st March 2022 who earned their full-pay (relevant employees). At that time, there were 4872 relevant full pay employees, which is made up by 3382 females (70%) and 1490 (30%) males. Out of the 4872 relevant employees, 76 are covered by TUPE regulations (28 are male and 48 are female).
The profile of the workforce has been broken down into the proportion of full time and part time employees, whereby 1162 (78%) of males are full time and 328 (22) are part time compared to 1305 (39%) of females are full time and 2077 (61%) are part time.
The profile of the workforce has been further categorised by age range. The age ranges used are based on those as determined by the ONS data.
(Full time is as determined by ONS as those working 30 hours or more.)
|Full-time women headcount
|Full-time women %
|Full-time men headcount
|Full-time men %
|16 to 21
|22 to 29
|30 to 39
|40 to 49
|50 to 59
|60 and over
|Part-time women headcount
|Part-time women %
|Part-time men headcount
|Part-time men %
|16 to 21
|22 to 29
|30 to 39
|40 to 49
|50 to 59
|60 and over
Looking at the data for both part time and full-time workers, between the ages of 30 to 59 there are 852 men (57%) employed full time and 972 (28%) are women. In comparison across the same age ranges (30 to 59 years old) 1531 (45%) of women are employed part time and 30 (2%) of men work part time. This evidences that women are more likely to work part-time than men.
However, as the majority of our workforce is predominantly female (70%) the data is skewed as it shows that women are the higher proportion of workers across each age category compared to males, with the exception of the 60 and over age group in full time employment.
It is worth noting that there has been an increase of 150 male and female full-time employees from a total of 2317 in 2021 to 2467 in 2022. The increase can be seen across the 30-39 and 50-59 age ranges for females and with a slight increase in the 16-49 age ranges for male full-time employees with decreases for both in the 60 and over age range employees.
In contrast the overall number of part-time men and women has decreased compared to last year with 406 fewer employees working part time. Interestingly, the number of women working part-time has decreased in all age-ranges and the number of men working part-time in the age ranges of 16 -39 all increased. The only decrease for men was in the 60 and over category.
In addition to the above age profile, using the same methodology as applied by the ONS, the gender pay gap has been broken down by age and full-time/part-time hours. In accordance with the ONS data, full time hours have been classed as 30 hours or more. The Gender pay gap by age full-time/part-time is based on the median salary within each data category (as per the ONS data) and uses a separate calculation for part time and full time per age range.
The data looks at the gender pay gap for people of a similar age and working pattern, unlike the statutory data which looks at the gender pay gap based on the median difference between men and women. Therefore, the gender pay gap within each age bracket does not relate to the overall median figure because that is based on all relevant employees across the Council, whereas the age gender gap is based on each individual age groupings and working patterns within those age brackets.
2020, 2021 and 2022 data
|2020 full-time %
|2021 full-time %
|2022 full-time %
|2020 part-time %
|2021 part-time %
|2022 part-time %
|16 to 21
|22 to 29
|30 to 39
|40 to 49
|50 to 59
|60 and over
The graph above shows that within each age bracket where there is a negative figure, for example -2.00%, this indicates the extent to which females earn, on average, more per hour than their male counterparts. A positive measure, for example 2.00%, indicates the extent to which females earn, on average, less per hour than their male counterparts.
Whilst our figures show that full-time females are earning less, on average, than their male counterparts (with the exception of 22- 39-year-olds), this could be attributed to the fact that a significantly higher number of females are employed within these age brackets, compared to the number of males.
The pay gap has increased for part-time workers in the 16 – 21 and 60 and over age bracket compared to previous years. Conversely, the pay gap has decreased in the 22 – 29 and 40 – 49 age brackets.
The reduction in the pay gap across the age groups as listed above, could be explained by the recruitment of new employees, subject to where they start in the pay band for example, as female employees are likely to start at the bottom of the pay band due to breaks in employment. If an existing employee changes their working pattern from full time to part time, their hourly rate will remain the same and if they have been employed for several years, they are likely to be at the top of their pay band through the incremental rises within the pay band compared to a new starter.
Where there are pay gaps in the age ranges this may indicate the impact of taking time out of the labour market and the preference for working part time when re-joining the labour market, for example for reasons such as taking time out to have children or other caring responsibilities.
Mean Gender Pay Gap
The difference between the mean hourly rate of pay for male full-pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees is 9.27%. In March 2021 this gap was 9.12% (2020 the gap was 10.99%).
The average mean hourly rate of pay for a male was £17.72. For a female the average mean hourly rate of pay was £16.08, which results in the 9.27% difference in the mean figure reported above. This gap has slightly decreased since last year as a result of the female average mean hourly rate of pay increasing marginally less than the previous years’ average compared to the increase of males mean average hourly pay.
Median Gender Pay Gap
The difference between the median hourly rate of pay of male full-pay relevant employees and that of female full-pay relevant employees is 13.85%. In March 2021 this gap was 13.58%.
The average median hourly rate for a male was £15.59. For a female the average median hourly rate was £13.43. This result is a 13.85% difference in the median figure reported above. This gap has increased as the male average median hourly rate has increased marginally more than the female average median salary for 2021 resulting in a slight increasing of the gap.
Mean and Median Pay Gap summary
PCC’s median and mean gender pay gap compares favourably with the national figure from the ONS where the average gap for all employees, part-time and full-time is 14.9% based on data from 2022.
In addition to a job evaluation scheme, PCC has a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of their gender. As such, the council:
- provides regular job evaluation training for employees involved in undertaking job evaluation; and
- evaluates job roles and pay bands as necessary to ensure a fair structure
The council is therefore confident that its gender pay gap does not stem from paying male and female employees differently for the same or equivalent work. Rather its gender pay gap is the result of the roles in which male and females work within the council and the salaries that these roles attract.
Across the UK economy, males are more likely than females to be in senior roles (especially very senior roles at the top of organisations), while females are more likely than men to be in front-line roles at the lower end of the organisation. In addition, men are more likely to be in technical and IT-related roles, which attract higher rates of pay than other roles at similar levels of seniority.
Unpaid care work, including childcare and informal adult care, is disproportionately performed by women. This can have a big impact on pay and progression. Females are also more likely than males to work part time, and many of the jobs that are available across the UK on a part-time basis tend to be lower paid. In addition, new females tend to take jobs that are nearer to home because of their caring responsibilities so this in turn may reduce their job opportunities and give them less access to productive, high-paying firms. Therefore, the gap widens over time. As men move up the pay ladder, women fall behind, either staying in lower paid positions, reducing their hours, or both. Others drop out of work entirely.
The gender pay gap exists within PCC as the majority (70%) of the workforce is female and predominantly a large proportion of these are employed in the lower quartile pay bands, with fewer employed at the more senior levels.
PCC’s gender pay gap is lower than the national average and this is down to several factors that already exist within the council:
- The commitment of PCC to continue to follow and adopt the Foundation Living Wage increases annually.
- PCC continues to promote and support flexible and hybrid working policies for all employees within the organisation, irrespective of gender.
- Robust equal opportunities and diversity policies ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally with a clear escalation process if an individual feels they are being treated unfairly.
- The JESS Job evaluation scheme ensures that all jobs are evaluated to ensure equal pay for equal work across the entire authority. For example, a female support worker or female manager will be paid the same pay band as her male counterpart.
Mean Bonus Pay Gap
The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees is 12.62%.
This has significantly increased from last year’s gap which was -4.86% (comparatively14.68% in 2020). The reason for the change is that the overall average bonus payment made to males is higher than that of females. Males are paid on average £1445.71, and females are paid on average £1375.93.
Median Bonus Pay Gap
The difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees is 54.77%.
This has increased significantly from last year’s figure which was 17.89%. The increase in the bonus gap between males and females can be attributed to the fact that more females (74 compared to 26 males) received a payment however on average the value of the payments received were lower.
The proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the relevant period in the 12 months up to 31st March was 26 males (1.7%) out of a total of 1490 males and 74 females (2.0%) out of a total of 3382 females.
Bonus pay gap summary
The mean gender bonus gap and the median gender bonus gap for the council have changed to 12.62% and 54.77% respectively, there were a total of 74 females who received a ‘bonus’ payment compared to 26 males, which is minimal change to last year with the comparative figures of 25 males and 75 females who received a bonus payment compared to 2021. The bonus value ranges for females from £63 up to £16,450 compared to the range for males from £84 up to £3,287.
The figures in the bonus proportions show that whilst there were a higher number of female employees than male employees who received a bonus payment, overall, the average value of bonus payments were slightly higher for male employees with the average for females being £1375.93 and males being £1445.77.
Some honoraria payments made within PCC are used to reward outstanding contributions and the definition of “bonus” for this report captures these types of payments. As such this can skew the data and creates inconsistencies in reporting. Continuing work is needed to ensure that recording of this data is accurate in the future.
Quartile Pay Bands
The proportions of male and female full-pay relevant employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands are set out in the table below.
|Number of males
|Number of females
|Upper middle quartile
|Lower middle quartile
The totals differ slightly to accommodate the same hourly rate distribution across the divides.
Quartile Pay Band Summary
For there to be no gender pay gap, there would need to be an equal ratio of male to female in each quartile. However, within the Council, 72% of the employees in the lower quartile are female and 28% are male. The percentage of male employees increases throughout almost all the remaining quartiles, from 26% in the lower middle quartile to 36% in the upper quartile. In direct comparison the percentage of female employees decreases throughout almost all the remaining quartiles from 74% in the lower middle quartile to 64% in the upper quartile.
While the Council’s gender pay gap compares favourably with that across the whole UK economy, it is committed to doing everything that it can to continue to reduce the gap. The Council is confident that its gender pay gap does not stem from an equal pay issue as the pay and grading system in place ensures that all roles are evaluated equally and ensures individuals receive equal pay for equal work.
The Council recognises that its scope to act is limited in some areas and has for example, no direct control over the subjects that individuals choose to study, their career choices or the choices individuals make about their work/life balance. However, as the employer, the Council can ensure that individuals can make these choices without suffering discrimination with its various flexible working policies and culture.
Portsmouth City Council are committed to continuing to close the gender pay gap. Our aim is to reduce this further as part of a wider agenda to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion across our entire workforce. This will be a staged approach over the long term.
Based on the 2021 report we have been working to the following:
Stage 1: Analysis of the current workforce profile – ongoing
An Equalities Steering group was newly established in 2022 with representation from across all council service areas and some partners. The initial task for this group was to undertake an equality, diversity and inclusion self-assessment using the Local Government Association equalities framework. This work is ongoing with an external consultation on the forthcoming Equality and Diversity Strategy 2022 -2025.
The combined data gathered will inform the draft Strategy and plan of action with the Legal obligation to release at least 1 Equality Objective by 31st March with the completed Strategy to follow.
Stage 2: Review of current policies and procedures – ongoing
|Recruitment and Retention:
Work is underway to improve data gathering from recruitment activity-to assess how posts are currently advertised, who is applying for them, who is being selected for interview and who is being appointed. This will enable us to better understand if there are barriers for women and underrepresented groups with our current practices.
New Oracle Recruitment system has been implemented and gone live. This will be developed to enable the reporting function to show applicant data. The reporting function of the system is now being developed.
New starter survey is being sent out to people who have joined PCC in the last 12 months this is to evaluate our recruitment and onboarding processes.
We are engaging with the community to understand how minority groups feel about PCC as an employer and how we can best attract them to apply for our roles.
|A review of job advertisements, job design and interview processes will be undertaken to assess whether they are inclusive. Training and setting performance metrics will be implemented to measure effectiveness
|Wording has been reviewed and the careers portal is being developed to better promote benefits, such as flexible working.
|A review of exit interview data is being completed to understand changes in the workforce profile and identify trends affecting career progression that are linked to equality and to understand if one gender is leaving for common reasons compared to others
|This data has been collated and is now being analysed.
|Review of the induction process is in progress to ensure all new recruits feel welcomed and staff can integrate well into and across the organisation
|This is now complete, and a new EDI module has been added to all staff inductions.
|Work is underway to improve monitoring of employee’s career progression, this will be used to understand if there are any barriers that are preventing women and underrepresented groups from progressing
A new development policy is being drafted to include guidance on career development pathways.
A new coaching faculty is being developed, the first cohort of coaches have just qualified, and the next cohort of coaches have commenced their training. Coaching for managers module and handbook is being developed as part of the new leadership and management course.
|We will continue to promote the benefits of flexible working practices to employees and managers, as part of the Councils new ways of working as we move towards a hybrid working model and to support those with caring responsibilities
|A Hybrid working policy has been introduced and services are encouraged to promote this as a benefit to assist with R&R difficulties. Job adverts now promote flexible working opportunities where job roles permit.
|Increase awareness about apprenticeship schemes to encourage more employees to improve their skills and experience giving them the opportunity to progress their career
Active programmes to raise awareness are in place with a full programme of events planned for Apprenticeships Week including full intranet marketing. There has been an increased uptake in apprenticeships in PCC Maintained schools due to pro-active work in this area.
We are producing a 'marketing' video to further help promote apprenticeships with staff and managers.
We are in the process of developing a pilot programme to recruit apprentices into care environments with external funding via the ICB. We are also looking at how PCC can support student placements for T levels and will be working with FE providers locally to enable these.
|Continue to find ways to maximise the diversity of our applicants. Encouraging closer working with schools, colleges, and universities to promote careers to women and underrepresented groups
|Currently exploring ways to engage with external groups as well as possibility of setting up a women's network.
|Work is currently underway to map clear career paths and competency frameworks for multiple professions across the authority-this will be to promote career development at the Council and improve retention
|HR continue to work with services to develop career pathways to assist with staff development and as part of succession workforce planning.
|Explore the introduction of a mentoring program linking in with the Equalities Steering group to help reduce the identified gender pay gap at senior levels, supporting women and underrepresented groups to progress in their career, build skills and encourage development
|Informal arrangements are in place across the council we will look to expand on this as the coaching faculty develops.
|Equality, Diversity and Inclusion actions:
|Following the introduction of the new HR system and EDI Intranet page, encourage employees to update their personal records and explain how this information benefits employees and produces an evidence base for equality related action
|Ongoing - continued promotion of the need for employees to update their personal records.
|Regularly analyse and present workforce equalities data to inform decision making, review progress against the current strategy and identify the underpinning activities needed to support and enable the Equality and Diversity strategy
|Ongoing - challenges with Fusion has limited the data available. This is currently being worked on with the HRMI team to ensure data is accessible.
|The new EDI Officer has been appointed, they will work closely with HR (Human Resources) to act as a ‘critical friend’ to audit current processes and help inform improvements to achieve greater diversity
|Ongoing - continue to build relationship and work closely for better outcomes and joined up thinking
|Review of the Equalities Impact Assessment process is underway
|The new Equalities Impact Assessment form is ready with plans for a change management and internal comms campaign to take place early in 2023 when the form will start to be in use. Drop-in sessions and support will be available to ensure that the subject matter experts have the capacity meet regularly to review the completed IIAs and have an oversight to ensure IIAs are robust and meet legal obligations and safeguard the Council. A robust and well-functioning Equality Impact Assessment is a priority of the EDI Strategy.
|Continue to support, engage with, and grow employee network groups to progress the work on the wider equality, diversity and inclusion agenda for the council and the city Work is underway to review our current Equality Impact Assessments to ensure that our policies, practices, decision making, and projects are fair and do not present barriers or disadvantage any protected groups
Grants have been awarded to 34 organisations in the city who are undertaking EDI related projects, helping in supporting our PSED.
A new Disability Forum group and a support group for people who are who are neurodivergent have been established.
There is also an Accessible Communications service user group at the Kestrel Centre. The group are very happy to look at any documents that PCC (or other services) produce and make comments / recommendations for improvement - in terms of clarity, design, easy read etc.
|Review Census data for working populations to compare and identify any gaps to determine if our workforce is reflective of the regional area. This data will also be used to inform a uniform process for data collection going forwards
|Ongoing - working with our EDI Officer to undertake this piece of work using ONS Census data.
|Pay and Benefits:
|Maintain a robust job evaluation scheme to ensure equal pay and transparency around our pay structure
|Continue to maintain a robust job evaluation scheme to ensure equal pay and transparency around our pay structure
|Work is underway to improve data gathering and reporting for additional payments, such as honoraria payments that are at the managers discretion to ensure that this is not contributing to the gender pay gap or unequal pay, if any anomalies are found these should be addressed
|Annual report presented to leadership team to review pay at PCC.
|Include ethnicity pay gap reporting as part of future Gender Pay Gap reports
|A concerted effort is being made to improve the data held on Fusion HR system to allow us to undertake analysis of pay ethnicity. PCC ethnicity workforce data will be compared to the ONS census data of the city once this has been released. It is our aim that the diversity of our workforce will be representative of the community we service.
|Develop a process to monitor starting pay both on recruitment and promotion for men and women to assess whether there is a difference on starting pay, this can be one of the most common causes of the gender pay gap
|System is in development for this.
|Continue to follow the Real Living Wage increases to help reduce the Gender Pay Gap where there is a high proportion of female employees
|PCC has committed to paying the RLW in line with the Real Living Wage Foundation annual increase recommendations.
|Undertake an equal pay audit and analysis of occupational segregation to critically examine pay structures to identify the ways these affect our employees
|Step one of this has commenced to collate staff data from surveys sent to new starters, leavers, and current staff.
Stage 3: Evaluation of progress
- Monitor current pay systems to identify and address any systematic issues and prevent any distortion of the data used for pay reporting purposes
- Use the trend analysis to inform and address future training needs of managers and employees
Timescales of achieving the action plan
The action plan will be implemented over the next 12 months and reviewed on an ongoing basis, and annually in comparison with the published results of the Gender Pay Gap report, each March. Some of the actions have been difficult to implement during 2021 due to the pandemic response and the remote ways of working.