Agenda item

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Update


The Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development submitted a report, presenting the Committee with an update on the work that was being done to advance Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Council.  The report also presented the Council’s Gender pay Gap Report for 2020 and, for the first time, an Ethnicity Pay Gap Report which was also for 2020.  The following documents were attached to the report:

Appendix 1         Gender Pay Gap Report for 2020

Appendix 2         Ethnicity Pay Gap Report for 2020.

The report explained that on 19 November 2020 the Committee had received a report on the Council’s Equality Audit for 2019/20 (Minute 4 refers) and on progress that had been made towards meeting the requirements set out in the Tackling Employment Inequality Motion that had been moved at the meeting of Council on 20 October 2020.  Since that time, the following action had been completed to advance Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Council:

·       Promotion of the Equality Audit for 2019/20;

·       The Race at Work Charter;

·       Equality, Diversity and inclusion Audit;

·       Establishment of a Cultural Unity, Diversity and Inclusion Network;

·       Healthy and Ethical Workplace – Support for the Directorate of Social Care and Health.

The report explained that the gender pay gap was calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings.  Nationally, the gender pay gap had been declining slowly in recent years.  In April 2020 for full-time employees only, it was 7.4%, down from 9.0% in April 2019 and among all employees the gap had fallen from 17.4% in 2019 to 15.5% in 2020. 

The report set out the Council’s mean (4.71%) and median (2.53%) pay gap for 2020, which showed an improvement since 2019 when the mean was 4.99% and the median was 5.05%.  The report also noted that these figures compared favourably with the national mean for the whole economy of 15.5% in 2020.  The report stated that unlike the gender pay gap, large organisations were not yet legally required to publish their ethnicity pay gap.  However, the Council believed it was important to be transparent so it had been decided to voluntarily publish data for the first time.  The ethnicity pay gap was the percentage difference in the average hourly rate of pay of white and BAME employees and had been calculated using the same methodology set out in the Government regulations for calculating the gender pay gap.  The pay gap report had been based on data at the snapshot date of 31 March 2020 when the mean ethnicity pay gap was 6.88% and the median was 0.28%.  Nationally, in 2019 the median ethnicity pay gap was 2.3%, its narrowest since 2012.  The majority of employees at the Council (79.6%) were white and the proportion of BAME employees was 13.8%.  There were more white employees than BAME employees at every pay quartile, with the highest proportion (16%) in the lower quartile.  Pay grade RG10 had the greatest proportion of BAME employees (23.08%), which was higher than the overall proportion of BAME employees at the Council.  However, the proportion of BAME employees at senior management level grades was low at only 3.13%.

The report explained that a Team Reading Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan would be created to enable more effective monitoring of progress towards increasing equality, diversity and inclusion at the Council and better reporting to management and Personnel Committee.  It would be created using insights from the BITC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion audit findings, as well as the Equality Audit 2019/20 findings and the Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap reports.  BITC’s findings and recommendations were expected in April 2021.

Resolved –

(1)      That the progress made to advance Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Council be noted;

(2)      That the Gender Pay Gap and Ethnicity Pay Gap Reports for 2020 be noted.


Supporting documents: