Every public sector body in Leicester and Leicestershire pay women less on average than men, newly-released figures show.
The pay gap in some public sector organisations in the county is as high as 25%, compared to an overall gender pay gap (GPG) for all employees in the UK of 18%.
The figures come after all companies in the UK with more than 250 employees, and all public sector organisations were forced to reveal the GPG by the government.
The majority of firms and public sector bodies in the UK have a GPG, which Theresa May has called a ‘burning injustice’.
The results for Leicestershire does not necessarily mean that men and women are being paid differently for equal work. It demonstrates the pay gap across the whole workforce.
One of the largest pay gap in public sector organisations exists within Leicestershire Police, where women are paid 25% per cent less than men on average.
This compares with a GPG of 20% at Leicestershire County Council, 14% at Leicestershire Fire & Rescue and 16% at the University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust. The County Council’s pay gap contrasts sharply with Leiceter City Council, where the GPG is only 3%.
The gap at Leicester’s universities also showed a large difference, with a GPG of 23% at the University of Leicester and 15% at Demontfort University.
Some have criticised the exercise, which also applies to charities and public sector bodies, as a crude mechanism open to misinterpretation.
However, gender equality campaigning charity the Fawcett Society says it represents an opportunity for employees to talk about pay and find out what their colleagues earn.
Sam Smethers, the society’s chief executive, said gender pay gap reporting was a game-changer in terms of workplace culture and practices.
“Finally women are realising that they have a right to talk about pay and they cannot be silenced,” she said.
“By finding out what their colleagues earn, they are then in a position to challenge any pay inequality; it is much more common than people realise.”