We are required by law to publish our gender pay gap figures each year. This requirement comes from the Equality Act 2010.
The gender pay gap is a measure of difference between men and women’s average earnings across an organisation. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. These figures take into consideration both part-time and full-time employees.
Having a gender pay gap does not mean we have inequalities of pay between males and females who are doing the same work.
Gender pay gap reporting helps us assess the proportion of males and females at all levels of seniority within an organisation.
The median pay gap figure is the one most often referenced in gender pay gap reporting as this is the one most representative of the experience of the average worker within an organisation. It is not affected by extreme values, such as the changes in earnings of small numbers of very high earners.
The mean pay gap figure, along with the quartile information, can be more useful to show pay gaps occurring because of the spread of representation of males and females. These figures can help us focus our efforts to close the gaps especially when we separate staff and officer payments, as it can make it easier to see where we need to focus our efforts, for example, it shows that we need to increase the number of females in senior police officer roles.
Glossary of Terms
Gender pay gap
A comparison between mean and median hourly pay for all women and men within the force. Both full time and part time employees.
Median gender pay gap
This is the difference between the median (middle) value of hourly pay rates (when ordered from lowest to highest) for all men in an organisation, and the median value of hourly pay rates for all women, expressed as a percentage of the median hourly rate for men.
Mean gender pay gap
This is the difference between the mean (average) hourly pay rate for all men in an organisation, and the mean hourly pay rate for all women, expressed as a percentage of the mean hourly rate for men.
Median bonus pay gap
This is the difference between the median (middle) values of bonuses (when ordered from lowest to highest) for all men in an organisation and the median value of bonuses for all women, as a percentage of the median bonus for men.
Mean bonus pay gap
This is the difference between the mean (average) value of bonuses for all men in an organisation and the mean value of bonuses for all women, expressed as a percentage of the mean bonus for men.
25% (quartile) pay distribution
The proportion of men and women in each 25% (quartile) of an employer’s pay structure.
This refers to specific payments applied to roles due to skill set. Particularly for officers the figures reflect that we need to increase the number of females in specialist roles, particularly firearms.
The report shows the overall gender pay gap figures of the following:
Gender pay gap (mean and median)
Gender bonus gap (mean and median)
Proportion of males and females in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure
Proportion of males and females receiving bonuses.
The median gender pay figure reflects that historically police officer roles have been more popular with men and police staff roles with women.
As police officer roles are generally higher paid than police staff roles (and despite there being more women working in police staff roles at all levels, including higher paid roles) when staff and officer figures are combined it results in a greater gender pay gap overall. Additionally, whilst we have a higher percentage of females in all pay levels in police staff roles there remains a higher number in entry level police staff roles.
It continues to be positive that we have increased recruitment of female officers joining as new recruits even though this in the short to medium term has a negative impact on our gender pay gap. Since the majority are joining at the Constable rank (so lower end of officer pay scales where there are greater numbers of roles), in the shorter/medium term this increase in female officers acts negatively on our overall (and officer) gender pay gap and is not offset by increased numbers of female officer promotions due to the smaller numbers of senior roles meaning less impact on the median position.
Whilst there are increasing numbers of women, both joining as officers and being promoted to higher ranks (and so higher paid roles), overall there continues to be more men in police officer roles at all levels including higher ranks (and so higher paid roles). It is taking a while for the increases in the number of female officers moving up the ranks to have an impact on the gender pay gap but the decrease in median police officer pay gap over the period (decreasing from 1.4% to 0.4%) is a positive sign of change.
We have used and continue to use the toolkits developed by the Government Equalities Commission, along with any insights and shared learning from other police forces, to help us make improvements and during the last year have made the following improvements:
Recruitment through a detective degree entry route which along with developments in other officer entry routes has helped widen appeal and so the diversity of applicants joining as police officers.
Embedding of a future focus succession planning framework to build on regular performance conversations individuals and line managers have. Development plans are put in place to support development of individuals in their career aspirations, whether that is lateral development, to gain additional specialist skills to become specialist in role or to prepare an individual for promotion.
Further improvements to the officer promotion scheme have been made in response to feedback including possible barriers to representation.
Unconscious and conscious inclusion sessions have been delivered, with external speakers providing greater understanding of why unconscious bias happens and how we can limit it and how conscious inclusion can be incorporated into our roles to create a more inclusive working environment.
The identity mentoring scheme has been built on to increase the numbers of parenting mentors to support officers and staff with their careers.
More on-line and modular training has been made available to improve accessibility and will remain a feature after current restrictions due to Covid-19.
Further developments have been made to agile and flexible working arrangements to build upon changes made pre and during Covid.
Whilst we are not complacent, the reduction in our overall median gender pay figure indicates that some of our activity to improve gender pay gap is having a positive impact.
Inclusion is of high importance to Sussex Police. All equalities information, including for gender, is monitored on a regular basis through various meetings at which improvement actions are agreed and reviewed.