GLA to publish equal pay plans after Khan reveals significant gender gap

All Greater London Authority (GLA) functional bodies will be required to produce plans to address the gender pay gap after an audit ordered by London mayor Sadiq Khan revealed female staff are consistently paid less.

In July, Khan fulfilled a manifesto pledge to publish the gender pay gap data for GLA, which revealed an average gap of 4.6%.

New findings for GLA’s seven functional bodies revealed that they all, with the exception of the London Fire Brigade, pay women less than men.

Khan said: “It is clear from the data I have published that we still have plenty of work to do to close the gender pay gap across the GLA and I will be working with all functional bodies to do everything we can to promote gender equality.

“It is unacceptable that in 2016 in London, the most progressive city in the world, that your gender determines how much you get paid and your career prospects.”

The GLA body with the biggest pay gap is the London Legacy Development Corporation, where, despite the fact that women make up two-thirds of employees, they are paid 35% less.

Elsewhere, the pay gap is at almost 20% at Transport for London (TfL), which employs 28,000 staff, and 12% at the Metropolitan Police Service, with 43,000 staff.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We are working with the mayor to ensure that our organisation - especially at a senior level – is more representative of the city that we serve. Unfortunately, across the transport industry, there has traditionally been an under-representation of women in higher-earning roles such as engineering, and many women think that a career in transport isn’t for them.”

They added that TfL had supported the ‘Women in Transport’ initiative to encourage women to pursue a career in the industry.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “We are not complacent and we have already taken action to reduce the gap by removing long service increments which indirectly have a disproportionate impact on female staff.”  They added that talks will be held with trade unions about how to address the pay gap further.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average pay gap in 2015 was 9% for the UK as a whole and 12% for London.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “Reporting the gap is the first step. We need to focus on an action plan to close it.”

Khan stated that the initiatives already being tried at the GLA to improve women’s pay included increasing the availability of part-time and flexible-working options, mentoring, sponsorship and career progression forms and piloting ‘no name’ application forms.

Separately, Khan is urging the GLA to lead by authority on paying its lowest-grade staff the London living wage.

(Image c. John Stillwell from PA Wire and PA Images)

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