Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS)’s latest report has revealed a 1.02% average gender pay gap.
The figures for 2022 showed a reduction of more than 2%, down from 3.1% the previous year.
Chief fire officer Rick Hylton said: “At Essex County Fire and Rescue Service equal roles are equally paid, there is no question about that. However, we do have an average gender pay gap of 1.02%.
“The fire and rescue service as an industry is still male dominated across the UK. At our Service, three-quarters of the overall workforce is male. So, although we can confidently say our non-discriminatory pay process results in equal pay, it is more challenging to reduce the gender pay gap when there is a disproportionate number of men in an organisation.”
He explained that ECFRS had come a long way since it first started reporting in 2018, when the gap stood at 15.6%.
Hylton added: “This huge decrease is a testament to the work we’ve done in creating a more diverse workforce, which is a key factor in reducing the gender pay gap. But we know there is still more than can be done.
“We will continue with a programme of positive action in recruitment in our commitment to achieving a workforce that is more reflective of our communities. We will continue to work with our employee networks, partners and stakeholders to gain feedback and understand how we can bring about positive change based on feedback from colleagues.”
The Service recently enhanced maternity leave and pay to provide full pay for the first 26 weeks, which Hylton highlighted as “a prime example of where our diversity networks have championed positive change within our Service which will make a real difference to people’s lives”.