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Gender Pay Gap Report (as at 31 March 2021)

GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTES: 

  • ‘Gender Pay Gap’ is not the same as ‘Equal pay’. The latter refers to the difference between men and women’s pay for the same job, and is illegal; whereas the gender pay gap relates to the difference calculated between average earnings, irrespective of their roles in any given sector, and is a way of measuring gender equality in respect of equal access to, and take up of, all types and levels of roles within an organisation.  
  • All calculations have been made as at 31 March 2021, in line with Government requirements for Public Sector bodies.  
  • Lancaster & Morecambe College does not have a bonus pay scheme for any staff, so reporting requirements for bonuses are not applicable.
  • The mean calculation shows the difference between the mean average hourly rate of pay that male and female employees receive. Mean averages (division of total sum of all values by number of values) are useful because they place the same value on every number they use, giving a good overall indication of the gender pay gap; however, very large or small pay rates can ‘dominate’ and distort the answer. 
  • The median calculation shows the difference between the median hourly rate of pay that male and female full-pay relevant employees receive. Median averages (middle point in a list of all values from smallest to largest) are useful to indicate what the ‘typical’ situation is i.e. in the middle of an organisation, and are not distorted by very large or small pay rates or bonuses.  However, this means that not all gender pay gap issues will be picked up. 
  • Using these two different types of average is helpful to give a more balanced overview of an employer’s gender pay gap.
  • Quartiles: comparing the two results in each quartile will indicate the distribution of male and female employees in the quartile. Comparing results between the quartiles will indicate the distribution of male and female employees across the organisation.

MEAN AVERAGE            LMC Mean Gender Pay Gap is:            12.5%

MEDIAN AVERAGE        LMC Median Gender Pay Gap is:        17.2%

QUARTILES

  Male Female
Lower Quartile 22.4% 77.6%
Lower Middle Quartile 27.3%  72.7%
Upper Middle Quartile 32.9% 67.1%
Upper Quartile 44.2%

55.8%

Gender pay gap quartiles chart
Quartiles (female data provided) chart

Quartile data demonstrates one reason for an increasing GPG at LMC.  Higher numbers of female staff in the lower quartile, and lower numbers of staff in the upper quartile, however small the differences, have a disproportionate effect on the GPG, in particular because we have twice as many female staff as male.

What else has contributed to the increases?

  • A change to the gender profile of the senior management team between March 2020 and March 2021.

  • Fluctuations in the number and gender of apprentice employees under age 18 

  • Impact of the Shortage Skills Allowance (SSA) paid to teaching staff in certain shortage skills areas.  Because shortage areas are almost all in Construction and Engineering, the majority (though not all) of those in receipt of the SSA are male, which impacts both the mean and median average in the GPG calculation.

  • Apart from the April 2019 and 2020 increases to the National Living Wage affecting a significant proportion of staff in the lower quartile and a global 1% increase in January 2020, there have been no significant changes to pay scales between the GPG report in 2019 and this report.  

  • The number of individuals paid in the month of March, and therefore forming part of the relevant data set, has continued to drop year on year.  Total numbers are now much closer to the minimum number of 250, above which GPG reporting is mandatory. [2017: 440; 2021: 306]  

  • To explain the median increase, we must look to the distribution of female and male staff across the organisation, and the year on year fluctuations within this distribution.  With the College’s relatively small number of staff, and twice the number of females to males, the median GPG in particular seems highly sensitive to variation. 
  • Of the 53 total leavers in the period, 66% were female and 34% male.   Leavers and joiners in the period are within a reasonable range of the gender proportion for the overall staff profile.  
  Female Male
Total leavers in period 66% 34%
Total joiners in period 62%  38%
Overall Staff Profile 68% 32%

CONCLUSION

While some specific explanations have been identified for the LMC Gender Pay Gap and the increasing trend in the last year, there are also broader trends in play across the whole staff profile, which are common in the sector.

Comparison with data published by other NW colleges suggests that the gender of the College Principal / senior staff, and the extent to which there is a predominance of female staff in the lower/upper quartiles (including the fact that some lower paid and often predominantly female roles such as cleaning and catering are contracted out by some colleges and therefore not part of their pay gap calculation), each have a significant impact on these sensitive mean and median measures.

Since one of the main factors impacting the LMC gender pay gap appears to be the higher proportion of female staff in the lower quartiles, the ability to start to reverse the longer-term chronic depression of wages within the organisation would provide, among other benefits, the best potential opportunity available to us to start to reverse our gender pay gap. 

Director HR Strategy & Support
November 2021