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House of Commons and Parliamentary Digital Service publish 2018 gender pay gap data

27 March 2019 (updated on 27 March 2019)


The House of Commons and the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) have today published a full Gender Pay Gap report, revealing promising figures and its continuing plans to boost diversity. 

The Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap (GPG) report shows the mean pay gap for the House of Commons was 1.45%. The median pay gap was revealed to be 1.01%. The figures show that men have a marginal pay lead in terms of both mean and median hourly pay over women in the House of Commons. This is explained by the ratio of female to male employees across the organisation, which is largely similar to the distribution across each pay quartile, resulting in relatively equal pay between genders.
Reporting was slightly different in the Parliamentary Digital Service, where the mean pay gap was 0.63%. The median pay gap was revealed to be 2.57%. This represents a move towards balance, with a change from the 2017 figures which showed a 5.21% bias in favour of women to a 0.63% bias in favour of men.  Compared to the average pay gap of 13% in favour of men for public bodies, both organisations show encouraging figures.

Bonus pay

Pay gap reporting also revealed the mean bonus gap for both organisations. Data here showed that there was a much larger margin for improvement, with the House of Commons reporting a 21.62% mean and a 5.66% median gap. PDS reported figures of -66.26% mean and -00.75% median.  Data for the bonus pay gap can be understood more clearly by excluding recognition awards (such as £25 gift voucher) and payments resulting from pay increases. Information was also collected to understand the true nature of the gap in relation to bonus payments for senior House of Commons and PDS staff. To give a more accurate picture of the pay gap relating to bonuses paid for good performance to senior staff, the House of Commons and PDS reports a combined senior staff bonus gap of -16.84% mean and 0% median. This gap has lessened considerably since 2017, following changes to the bonus system to ensure consistency of payment across all grades.

Improving equality

In comparison with the national median average of 9.1%, the House of Commons and PDS pay gaps are small. However, there is much more to be done to reach gender pay parity. Gender pay gap data reveals only part of the picture.  The House of Commons and PDS have made a clear commitment to providing a workplace where all staff are valued equally. We are a London Living Wage employer, rated in 2018 as the 23rd best UK employer in the Stonewall workplace equality index, and have a silver disability standard accreditation.  We have made significant policy decisions around the recruitment of senior staff in the past year, specifically to require both diverse panellists and shortlists when recruiting for a group of the most senior roles.  A default commitment to external recruitment will also ensure that we are targeting a diverse recruitment market to appoint to these key roles.
In addition to work around attracting more diverse new talent, the Commons Executive Board has endorsed the need to improve internal talent development through a leadership development programme with ring-fenced places for women and those from a BAME background.  In recent years workplace equality initiatives have been championed, including policies such as shared parental leave, childcare vouchers and flexible working  which have been shown to help break down the barriers to true gender equality in the workplace. 

John Benger, Clerk of the House of Commons, said: “Whilst our gender pay gap figures are encouraging, we are not complacent. We recognise that there is more to be done to increase female representation at the most senior levels in the House. We are proud to have introduced a range of measures to address the problem, including a talent management programme, more diverse recruitment practices, and the launch of a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and we are determined never to be complacent.  As the facilitator of our democracy, the House of Commons must seek to be a leader in offering equal opportunities to all staff, and pay is a significant element of that.”
Tracey Jessup, CIO and Managing Director of the Parliamentary Digital Service, said: “I am proud to lead an organisation committed to ensuring equality and diversity in staff, including gender equality. Whilst the gender pay gap figures are only part of the picture of gender inequality, a gap of less than 1% is positive. We have more to do, including improving our gender balance. The current 38% women and 62% men split is significantly higher than the national average for the technology industry, but is not yet good enough and we will continue to work hard to attract women across all areas of our business. We are also mindful that gender pay inequality must be tackled alongside other factors which have an impact on equality of opportunity in the workplace.” 

Gender Pay Gap Reports

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