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Council / SIC gender pay gap ‘of concern’

The SIC's North Ness headquarters.

MEN working at Shetland Islands Council (SIC) are on average paid nearly eight per cent more than women, according to new figures.

However, the gender pay gap reduced by more than three per cent from when the council’s last equality data was published in 2015/16.

The gap comes despite figures for 2018 showing that around 66 per cent of the council’s staff was female.

A high proportion of the council’s higher paid jobs are found in the ports and harbour team at Sella Ness, for example, such as marine pilots.

The SIC admitted that the gender pay gap of 7.99 per cent was “of concern and requires further investigations”.

The data also revealed that the SIC’s staff headcount as of 31 March 2018 was about 400 less than it was on the same date two years earlier.

The number of part-time females within the workforce as of the end of March 2018 was greatly more than males, with 2,261 compared to 420.

The number of full-time female workers was 639 compared to 738 men.

There has also been an increase in the number of employees aged 16- 35 and over 55 since 2016/17, with most workers aged between 46 and 55.

Less than one per cent of council employees said they were of a minority ethnic group, and with around eight per cent not answering, 90.54 per cent of staff said they were of a white background.

Executive manager for human resources Denise Bell said: “We are continuing to close the gender pay gap and address workplace inequalities within the council.

“The gender pay gap is an indicator of the systemic inequality that women experience in society and we support any action which tackles the causes of women’s inequality at work.

“We encourage all our employees to challenge inequalities and make a positive contribution to creating an inclusive workplace culture.”

The SIC is due to release its next equality report in 2021.