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Council gender pay gap narrows but men receive five times more in bonuses than women

PUBLISHED: 10:02 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:42 15 February 2019

Breckland Council has revealed the gender pay gap within its workforce has narrowed but differences in bonuses remains. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Breckland Council has revealed the gender pay gap within its workforce has narrowed but differences in bonuses remains. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

A report has revealed the gender pay gap for council staff has narrowed but men are still getting paid five times more in bonuses than women.

Breckland Council has revealed the gender pay gap within its workforce has narrowed but differences in bonuses remains. Picture: Ian BurtBreckland Council has revealed the gender pay gap within its workforce has narrowed but differences in bonuses remains. Picture: Ian Burt

Of the 285 people employed by Breckland Council, around 72pc are women and 28pc men, of whom 68pc of women were in full-time positions compared to 90pc of men.

While figures show that overall the gender pay gap has closed slightly compared to the year before, there was still a huge disparity in bonus payments between men and women.

A report to full council states the gender pay gap for 2017 was 22.8pc which improved to 13.1pc in 2018 - a better performance than the national average of 15.9pc specifically within local government jobs.

But the difference between the average bonus payments given to male and female workers was a staggering 79pc, which had worsened from the year before when it averaged at 71pc.

The council said this was largely down to its enforcement team which is mostly made up of men working on an incentive pay and commission scheme.

The council has stated only 13 members of staff received bonuses in the past year and four men in its ARP Enforcement Agency - previously known as bailiff services - received variable pay initiative (VPI) payments which accounted for some of this difference.

A Breckland Council spokesman said the majority of the council’s low-paid positions were held by women, adding: “These lower-paid positions often offer a range of flexible working patterns and part-time hours and tend to attract more applications from women than men.

“The council has a female chief executive and women make up 75pc of our corporate management team.

“In the last year, the council has reduced its gender pay gap and is now performing better than the national average, and we will continue to look for opportunities to make further improvements as we develop our pay and reward systems going forward.”

The average bonus payment handed to men was calculated at £2,512.58, nearly five times more than the average of £525 given to women.

Of the 285 people within its workforce, around 11pc of men were paid bonuses compared to just 2pc of women.

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