Gender pay gap at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service increases

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has reported an increase in the average amount men are paid compared to women.

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 5:00 pm

The service says it is addressing the issue in a sector it acknowledged “has been white male-dominated for decades”.

The fire service has a mean average gender pay difference between female and male employees of -18.3 per cent as at March 31 2020.

This marks an increase on last year’s figures from 2019-20 when the gap stood at -7.7 per cent.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has reported an increase in the average amount men are paid compared to women.

The mean average is made from the salaries of every member of staff added together and divided by the number of staff who work for the service.

It means while pay rates are consistent within job roles, “irrespective of gender”, the figures show that there are more men employed with senior, high paid roles than women.

The problem was discussed during the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority meeting on July 23.

Craig Parkin, deputy chief fire officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “There has been an increase in the gender pay gap.

“The reality is we have very few women in an operational sense and then those who go on to be middle or senior managers.

“That is something symptomatic of the Fire and Rescue Service. We are doing a lot around positive action, tying in with a lot of the work that the National Fire Chiefs’ Council is doing.

“This has been a sector which has been white male-dominated for decades.

“We are trying to readdress half a century of issues including representation of BAME [Black, Asian and minority ethnic] communities.

“The figures we’ve had in the last two recruitments have been really positive. Something like a quarter of the recruits are from female applicants.

“We’ve got female members of staff in operational roles [but] it’s going to be two or three years before they think about being leaders in the organisation.”

The statement of pay policy put before councillors at the meeting showed the mean average pay at the service is now £35,143 per annum.

The document stated: “The Service has committed to undertake an independent equal pay audit on a 3-yearly basis as a means of identifying any gender pay issues.

“As at 31st March 2020, this showed that the mean average differencein pay between female and male employees was -18.3 and the mean mediandifference in pay was -9.8 per cent.

“The challenge for the service is to develop more women into managerial roles, particularly operational roles where women are under-represented.

“This requires more women to apply for and be successful in attaining operational roles, and to go onto apply for promotion.”