Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFR&S) has reported its gender pay gap for 2023, showing a growth from 0.18% in favour of women to 3.37% in favour of men in the past 12 months.
The average hourly wage for male employees was found to be 60p more than the rate paid to females, at £17.79 compared to £17.19, on the snapshot date of 31 March this year.
In a report to Avon Fire Authority’s policy and resources committee, the Service stated: “Despite the increase, the Service’s pay gap between men and women remains significantly lower than the national average which has declined from 9.7% to 9.4%. The UK national gender pay has continued to decrease since 2019, however the majority of organisations continue to have a gap in favour of males.”
According to AF&RS, its mean and median gender pay gaps have remained relatively small since it began reporting its gender pay gap in 2018. In explaining the widening, it said there had been an increase in female staff in quartile 4 from 46 in 2022 to 52 in 2023, but that most male staff in this quartile are uniformed and receive a 7% national pay award in 2023, whereas most women in this quartile are corporate and received a lower national pay award in this period.
The report said: “There is always more that we can do to further decrease the gender pay gap annually, however we remain positive that our continuous work on indicates that women at AF&RS are not significantly disadvantaged compared to their male colleagues on the issue of pay.”
AFR&S also revealed a 5.4% pay gap between white British and ethnic minority employees, slightly down from 5.56% in 2022.
The report stated that while the government had ruled out making ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory, the service decided to analyse and publish its ethnicity pay gap results “for transparency and best practice in addition to helping the Service measure and understand what disparities exist in our workforce in relation to ethnicity”.
It added: “This will help us identify and utilise relevant interventions and initiatives such as Positive Action, to improve the representation of ethnic minority staff at all levels of the organisation and ensure we achieve a reduced year-on-year pay gap.”