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Council / SIC gender pay gap slims further

Shetland Islands Council headquarters at North Ness in Lerwick. Photo: Shetland News

THE GENDER pay gap at Shetland Islands Council has fallen to 5.9 per cent, having been as high as 11.21 per cent five years ago.

The pay gap, which is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, has gradually reduced over recent years. It was 7.99 per cent in 2017/18.

The figure of 5.9 per cent was based on the number of staff employed by the council on 31 March last year.

Meanwhile the latest male/female job split in Shetland is said to be 52:48 per cent.

This is a change from 2011 when the split was 49:51 in favour of females.

When calculated as full-time equivalents (FTEs), males account for 61 per cent and females account for 39 per cent of all FTEs.

The figures were included in a report on equality outcomes presented to a council meeting on Tuesday.

The policy and resources committee approved a refreshed set of outcomes for 2021-25.

For that time period the council aims to ensure that:

  • People will be accessing employment in all sectors in innovative ways designed to minimise the barriers to involvement for all with a focus on recovery from the impacts of Covid.
  • People will be able to access the information they need, when they need it, in a wide range of different ways with a focus on the range of communication methods the Council uses.
  • Outcomes will be improved by developing better methods to assess the impact of what we do with a focus on data gathering.
  • The number of children, young people and adults affected by gender based violence, particularly domestic abuse and sexual violence will be reduced, and the consequences will be minimised with a focus on delivering the Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence Strategy.

There is also a focus on continuing to monitor and review data related to the lasting impacts of the Covid pandemic on different equality groups.

The report highlighted progress on the council’s previous equality outcomes, noting work done in areas such as childcare, sexual violence prevention and communication with the public.

Meanwhile education and families committee chairman George Smith said childcare was a major issue when it comes to a lack of equality.

While the national policy to extend free early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours a year has been welcomed, Smith said across the isles the availability of wraparound care – which fits in around funded hours – is a concern.