In 2017, the government announced that all UK employers with more than 250 employees must publish the difference between the average earnings of men and women within their organisation, which include salary and bonus payments. 2019 is the third year we are publishing our findings.
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average pay of all men and all women across the business regardless of their role or seniority. It is different from equal pay, which measures whether men and women are paid the same for doing similar work or equal value work defined in The Equality Act 2010. It does not involve publishing any individual data.
In line with the reporting requirements, our findings reflect data from our HR Payroll system as at April 2019 which covers all of our employees at Ombudsman Services with a range of roles and levels of pay.
Overall, based on our data for 2019, we have identified an 7.8% mean pay gap, which is a 3.2% improvement from the 2018 figure of 11%, and year on year we continue to close the gender pay gap. When looking at the median pay gap (the middle value) the data has increased very minimally from 3.0% to 3.1%. The gap remains due to more women than men in the lower and middle pay salary bands, but when comparing to the 2017 & 2018 figures we continue to see a positive shift in closing the gap over time.
The mean and median calculations are also used when comparing bonus awards over a twelve month period. The majority of colleagues (excluding the Executive team) participated in the bonus scheme however only a small proportion of colleagues received a payment We are pleased to report the mean bonus gap between men and women is negligible at 0.1% in favour of women, and the proportion of eligible women received a bonus (30.2%) than eligible men (27.9%). There is for the second concurrent year no difference in the median bonus payment between men and women.
There remains a clear female-dominated split in the lower and lower-middle quartiles given the greater proportion of women in our front line roles. At OS we are proud to offer and promote a range of flexible working options for our colleagues. In 2018 there has been a further drop of 3% in the proportion of women in the lowest pay quartile, and an increase in the proportion of women in the middle quartiles.
At Ombudsman Services we are passionate about creating and ensuring we have a diverse and inclusive place to work, with equality and fairness at the core of our values, our policies and our everyday work. We are pleased that our continued efforts to close the gap are again apparent in the 2019 gender pay reporting figures and believe we are in a good position again this year, but we will continue our efforts to ensure these positive trends continue.
We remain committed to ensuring that there is fairness and transparency in our recruitment processes, career opportunities and how we manage the salaries of our employees. We have a robust job evaluation and reward processes to determine the scale and complexity of all our jobs regardless of gender. We benchmark against the external market meaning our salaries and benefits are similar to those doing similar roles in other organisations.
As an organisation one of our values is insightful & focussed, we remain committed to monitoring and understanding the gender pay gap and will continue to take pro-active steps to close any gap. Our commitment to equality and diversity is endorsed and supported by the Board and Executive team. At Ombudsman Services we continue our pro-active commitment to attract, retain and develop our diverse talent by supporting our colleagues, flexible working practices and focussing on our culture and values at the heart of everything we do.