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 31 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 30 March of the following year. So, for the snapshot date of March 2020, the findings must be published no later than 30 March 2021.

The purpose of Gender Pay Gap reporting is to achieve greater gender equality across the UK and increase pay transparency. It has been estimated that the under-utilisation of women’s skills costs the UK economy 1.3 – 2% of GDP annually, and that eradicating the full-time gender pay gap would contribute additional spending into the economy of £41b each year.

In 2020 the national gender pay gap for full-time employees was 7.4%, meaning that average pay for full-time female employees was 7.4% lower than for full-time male employees. This is a slight decrease since 2019, where the gap was 9%. The national gender pay gap for all employees, full and part-time is 15.5% which is a slight decrease from 2019 when it was 17.4%. It is important to note that the Coronavirus pandemic and the furlough scheme may have an artificial impact on the national gender pay gap figures for 2021/22.

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 has published some 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: 2020

ONS Employee Earnings in the UK: 2020


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 30 March of the following year.

The report will be based on hourly pay rates as of 31 March 2021 and on bonuses paid between 01 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.


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

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.

Bonus Proportions

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 31 March 2021 who earned their full-pay (relevant employees). At that time, there were 4869 relevant full pay employees, which is made up by 3401 females (70%) and 1468 (30%) males. Out of the 4869 relevant employees, 95 are covered by TUPE regulations (32 are male and 63 are female).

The profile of the workforce has been broken down into the proportion of full time and part time employees, whereby 1135 (77%) of males are full time[1] and 333 (23%) are part time compared to 1253 (37%) of females are full time and 2148 (63%) 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.

wdt_ID Age Range Full-time women headcount Full-time women % Full-time men headcount Full-time men % Total headcount
1 16 to 21 17 49 18 51 35
2 22 to 29 195 60 128 40 323
3 30 to 39 240 53 211 47 451
4 40 to 49 298 51 281 49 579
5 50 to 59 407 54 349 46 756
6 60 and over 96 39 148 61 244
7 Total 1,235 1,135 2,388
wdt_ID Age Range Part-time women headcount Part-time women % Part-time men headcount Part-time men % Total headcount
1 16 to 21 38 70 16 30 54
2 22 to 29 195 78 55 22 250
3 30 to 39 475 89 57 11 532
4 40 to 49 536 92 48 8 584
5 50 to 59 583 90 64 10 647
6 60 and over 321 78 93 22 414
7 Total 2,148 333 2,481

[1] Full time is as determined by ONS as those working 30 hours or more.

Looking at all the data for both part time and full time, our data correlates with the national data, where between the ages of 30 to 59 there are 841 men (57%) employed full time. Women, however, are less likely to work full time with only 945 (28%) of 30 to 59-year-olds employed full time. In comparison across the same age ranges (30 to 59-years-old) 1594 (47%) of women are employed part time and 29 (2%) of men work part time.

However, as the majority of our workforce is predominantly female this skews the data to show that they are the higher proportion of workers across each age category compared to males, with the exception of the 60 and over age group.

It is worth noting that across all age groups, (apart from 16 to 21 females and 60 plus year olds both genders), there has been an increase in the total headcount of full-time employees by 53 compared to the headcount in 2020.

In contrast there has been a reduction in headcount of 330 across all age groups apart from the 16 – 21-year-olds for both genders and 22-29 for males only for part time employees.

In addition to the above age profile of the workforce, and 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.

wdt_ID Age Bands Full Time % Part Time %
1 16 to 21 1.96 -3.52
2 22 to 29 -2.00 7.70
3 30 to 39 -1.99 36.37
4 40 to 49 0.00 18.00
5 50 to 59 2.06 7.70
6 60 and over 3.27 -3.83

The table above shows that within each age bracket where there is a negative figure, for example -18%, this indicates the extent to which females earn, on average, more per hour than their male counterparts. A positive measure, for example 18%, 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 to 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 reduced for part-time workers in the 60 and over age bracket compared to last year’s gap of 16.32% meaning women are now paid more on average at this age than their male counterparts. In contrast the gap has increased in the 22-39 age bracket.

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 a number of 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.

Key Findings

6.1 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 9.12%. In March 2020 this gap was 10.99%.

The average mean hourly rate of pay for a male was £17.54. For a female the average mean hourly rate of pay was £15.94, which results in the 9.12% difference in the mean figure reported above. This gap has slightly decreased since last year due to the fact that the female average mean hourly rate of pay has increased slightly more than the previous years’ average compared to the amount of increase of males mean average hourly pay.

6.2 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 13.58%. In March 2020 this gap was 9.32%.

The average median hourly rate for a male was £15.32. For a female the average median hourly rate was £13.24. This result is a 13.58% difference in the median figure reported above. This gap has increased as the male average median hourly rate has increased slightly more than the female average median salary for 2020 resulting in a slight increasing of the gap.

6.3 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 15.5% based on data from 2020.

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 as a whole, 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.

Females are also more likely than males to have had breaks from work that have affected their career progression, for example to bring up children. They are also more likely to work part time, and many of the jobs that are available across the UK on a part-time basis are relatively low paid. In addition, new mums 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.

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 a number of factors that already exist within the council:

  • The introduction of a PCC Living Wage Rate of £7.85 per hour, in November 2014, paid to all employees at the lower level of the pay structure, taking employees out of working poverty. This was increased in September 2018 to pay in line with the 2018 Foundation Living Wage rate and to continue to follow the Foundation Living Wage increases from then on.
  • PCC promotes and supports a number of flexible working policies for all employees within the organisation, irrespective of gender. These include job share, part time working and, term time working. In some areas there is also a flexibility to work from different locations.
  • 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.

6.4 Mean Bonus Pay Gap

The difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees is -4.68%.

This has decreased from last year’s gap which was 14.68%. The reason for the change is that the overall average bonus payment made to females is higher than that of males. Males are paid on average £717, and females are paid on average £752.

6.5 Median Bonus Pay Gap

The difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees is 17.89%.

This has changed significantly from last year’s figure which was 0.53%. The bonus gap between males and females has increased significantly and can be attributed to the fact that more females (75 compared to 25 males) received a payment however the value of the payments received is lower.

6.6 Bonus Proportions

The proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the relevant period in the 12 months up to 31 March was 25 males (1.7%) out of a total of 1468 males and 75 females (2.2%) out of a total of 3401 females.

6.7 Bonus pay gap summary

The mean gender bonus gap and the median gender bonus gap for the council have changed to -4.68% and 17.89% respectively, there were a total of 75 females who received a ‘bonus’ payment compared to 25 males, which is a slight reduction on the number of females and males who received a bonus payment compared to 2020. The bonus value ranges for females from £76.10 up to £5,370 compared to the range for males from £115.59 up to £2,444.

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.

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.

6.8 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.

wdt_ID Group Number of males Number of females Total Male % Female % Total %
1 Upper Quartile 454 763 1,217 37 63 100
2 Upper Middle Quartile 357 860 1,217 29 71 100
3 Lower Middle Quartile 319 898 1,217 26 74 100
4 Lower Quartile 338 880 1,218 28 72 100

The totals differ slightly to accommodate the same hourly rate distribution across the divides.

6.9 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, 70% of the employees in the lower quartile are female and 30% are male. The percentage of male employees increases throughout almost all the remaining quartiles, from 26% in the lower middle quartile to 37% 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 63% 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. However, the Council also recognises that its scope to act is limited in some areas – it has, for example, no direct control over the subjects that individuals choose to study or the career choices that they make. Individuals make choices about their work/life balance and one of the trends identified by Gender Pay Gap analysis is that female’s pay reduces at a certain age due to caring responsibilities for dependants. This is the norm for our culture. However, Portsmouth City Council ensures that individuals are able to make these choices without suffering discrimination with its various flexible working policies and culture.

The Gender Pay Gap for the “mean” and “median” categories fall below that of the national average.

There does not appear to be any benchmarking data in relation to bonus payments from ONS that will correlate directly with the calculation method defined by the Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations. Therefore, we do not know how the percentage for bonus payments compares with the national average or sector trends. However, looking at the data published for 2019-20 by other local authorities, it is shown that Portsmouth is one of the few Councils who report paying any bonuses and that compared to those who do pay bonuses, Portsmouth falls within the ranges as reported by other local authorities.

In terms of the impact of the Gender Pay Gap based on age, the action plan highlights actions that may assist in reducing the pay gap within certain age brackets.

Action Plan/Recommendations

Portsmouth City Council are committed to continuing to close the gender pay gap, to date there has been a reduction in the mean gender pay gap from 15.5% in 2019 to 9.12% in 2021.

We now aim to reduce this further as part of a wider agenda to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion across our entire workforce.

 Stage 1: Analysis of the current workforce profile

An Equalities Steering group has been newly established with representation from across all council service areas and partners where appropriate. An initial task for this group will be to undertake an equality, diversity and inclusion self-assessment using the Local Government Association equalities framework.

The group will review progress against the current strategy and identify the underpinning activities needed to support and enable delivery of the council plan for recovery and renewal. These two activities will be used to inform the Equality and Diversity Strategy 2022 – 2025.

Several gaps have already been identified as part of the initial analysis, the results of the gender pay gap analysis will also be fed into this wider work and addressed as part of the work being undertaken to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion across the council’s workforce.

 Stage 2: Review of current policies and procedures 

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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Talent management:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Increase awareness about apprenticeship schemes to encourage more employees to improve their skills and experience giving them the opportunity to progress their career
  • 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
  • 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
  • We will continue to promote existing career management tools and evaluate the impact these are having on our workforce profile
  • 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

 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
  • 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
  • A 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- a review of the Equalities Impact Assessment process is currently underway
  • 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
  • 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

Pay and Benefits:

  • 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
  • Include ethnicity pay gap reporting as part of future Gender Pay Gap reports
  • 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
  • Continue to follow the Real Living Wage increases to help reduce the Gender Pay Gap where there is a high proportion of female employees
  • Undertake an equal pay audit and analysis of occupational segregation to critically examine pay structures to identify the ways these affect our employees

Stage 3: Evaluation of progress 

  • Incorporate regular reporting of equalities achievements/data in corporate performance reporting to Governance, Audit and Standards Committee
  • 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.