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The Environment Agency is committed to having an inclusive culture. We have an ambition to be the best employer for equality, diversity and inclusion in the country. As part of this ambition we review our pay gap for disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation (protected characteristics) as well as gender. This was recognised by the employers’ network for equality and inclusion (enei), who awarded us their 2018 pay gap award.
We’re pleased that our gender pay gap is small compared to the UK gender pay gap. Our pay gaps for our other protected characteristics are in line with this. However, to be a truly equal and inclusive workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, we need to do more work.
We already have a lot to be proud of. We have achieved gold in Mind’s wellbeing index for the last 3 years. This shows we’ve successfully embedded mental health into our policies and practices. This demonstrates a long-term commitment to employees’ mental health.
We’ve also been a top 100 employer in the Stonewall Index for the last 12 years. The Stonewall Top 100 is a definitive list that showcases the best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.
It’s great that the Environment Agency is recognised in this way but there’s still a lot more we can do. We want to make all our roles attractive and open to everyone so we have a fair and equal workplace.
Emma Howard Boyd - Chair
Sir James Bevan - Chief Executive
2. Summary of the report
A pay gap is the difference between the average pay for one group of employees compared to another. This compares all employees, not only those doing the same work. The pay gap shows, on average, one group occupies higher pay roles than another group.
As in our previous pay gap reports, we are providing pay gap data on our workforce for:
- religion and belief
- sexual orientation
We collect this diversity data to understand how inclusive and diverse we are. Our Defra Group Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy explains our commitment to creating a great place to work for all employees. The Environment Agency employed 10,417 people at 31 March 2019. Further information about our workforce is in our Equality statement.
2.1 Key findings of the report
We’ve found that:
- our gender pay gap remains much lower than the UK gender pay gap
- our gender pay gap is relatively low because we have a higher proportion of men than women in both higher paid and lower-paid roles
- our pay gap for other characteristics (disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation) is similar to our gender pay gap
- the diversity of our organisation is not representative of the UK - this is particularly the case in our teams involving physical roles
- we are committed to improving diversity and have a number of ongoing initiatives
3. Environment Agency pay gap data 2019
3.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap
In the Environment Agency our minority groups are:
- female employees
- employees with a disability
- black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees
- Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) employees
On average minority groups occupy slightly lower paid roles. This results in a pay gap for employees from minority groups. Our pay gaps are smaller than the national average.
Across each characteristic our pay gaps are relatively low. This is because there is a similar proportion of employees in each characteristic across the pay quartiles. For example, the bottom pay quartile is 37.7% women and the top pay quartile is 35.9% women, a 1.8% difference.
This is also the case for sexual orientation where the bottom pay quartile is 2.9% LGB and the top pay quartile is 2.0% LGB. As we have a smaller number of LGB employees this 0.9% difference is magnified to a 4.7% mean ordinary hourly pay gap.
There’s a smaller representation of LGB employees within the Environment Agency. As a result, minor changes to the number of LGB employees within the organisation have a large impact on the pay gap figures. The opposite is the case for our religion and belief pay gap. This is because we have a fairly equal split of employees who declare that:
- they are religious
- they are not religious
- have not declared their religion
This results in a very minor pay gap between employees who are religious and employees who are not religious.
The table shows our ordinary hourly pay gap data:
|Ordinary hourly pay gap||Gender||Disability||Race||Religion and belief||Sexual orientation|
3.2 Bonus pay gap
Most of the bonuses awarded within the Environment Agency are based on the pay band of the employee.
On average there is a higher proportion of minority groups in lower pay bands. Bonuses are also lower for those working part time because they are prorated. This particularly affects women who are more likely to work part time. 81% (1,491) of part time employees are female.
The table shows our bonus pay gap data:
|Bonus pay gap||Gender||Disability||Race||Religion and belief||Sexual orientation|
4. Environment Agency pay gap comparison with UK pay gap
We calculate our pay gap using a method set by The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017. The Office for National Statistics use a different method for calculating the UK wide pay gap. The 2 methods are not comparable. For context, the UK-wide median pay gaps are:
- gender – 17.9% UK wide, compared to 1.2% for the Environment Agency
- disability – 15% UK wide, compared to 4.0% for the Environment Agency
- race – no comparable data available
- religion and belief – no UK-wide data available
- sexual orientation – no UK-wide data available
In this context our gender and disability pay gaps are very low compared with the UK-wide gap.
5. Environment Agency pay gap comparison with 2018
To put the 2019 pay gap data in context we’ve provided a comparison with 2018 pay gap data.
5.1 Comparison of ordinary hourly pay gap
In general our ordinary hourly pay gaps have narrowed.
|Difference in ordinary hourly pay gap||Gender||Disability||Race||Religion and belief||Sexual orientation|
5.2 Comparison of bonus pay gap
In general our bonus pay gaps have narrowed, except for our mean gender and disability pay gaps.
|Difference in bonus pay gap||Gender||Disability||Race||Religion and belief||Sexual orientation|
In previous years most of the bonuses awarded by the Environment Agency were as a percentage of basic pay. This has changed to a fixed value which uses the average for each pay band. This average is generally higher for minority groups than a percentage of their pay.
Our mean gender and disability bonus pay gap have increased because a small number of senior leaders receive a bonus. Therefore small changes in the diversity representation of these senior leaders has a large impact on our bonus pay gap.
6. Understanding the key definitions of pay gap
To help you understand this report, here are some definitions relating to pay gap.
We recognise that gender is not a binary concept. Currently our database does not enable employees to declare that they are non-binary but this is something we hope to achieve in the future. A non-binary person is someone who does not identify fixedly as either male or female. Their gender identity may be intermediate, gender-neutral, or gender fluid, or genderless.
Includes those with a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
6.3 Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB)
Our employee network for sexual orientation supports transgender employees as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual employees. Our lesbian, gay and bisexual pay gap analysis does not include transgender. This is because gender reassignment is a separate protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010. We therefore collect data for gender reassignment separately. With only 7 employees declaring themselves as transgender we do not have enough data to undertake a pay gap analysis for gender reassignment.
6.4 Pay gap percentages
The data shows positive and negative percentages:
- the positive percentages show that the average pay is lower for the minority group
- the negative percentages show that the average pay is higher for the minority group
6.5 Ordinary hourly rate
The ordinary hourly rate includes:
- basic pay
- shift premium pay
It does not include:
- employees on maternity leave, long term sick leave, or other types of reduced pay
The calculation for ordinary hourly rate uses contractual weekly hours. This compares employees’ hourly pay, regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time.
For pay gap reporting, ‘bonuses’ refer to one-off payments to reward performance paid:
- as part of the annual pay award as a proportion of basic pay
- throughout the year as either cash or gift vouchers
6.7 Mean and median
These are defined as:
- mean – adding all of the pay values together and dividing the total by how many people were paid
- median – the middle value if all the salaries are ordered lowest to highest
6.8 Pay quartiles
Pay quartiles are calculated by:
- ordering employees by their ordinary hourly pay
- dividing the employees into four groups, each with an equal number of employees - each group is a quartile
For the Environment Agency this results in pay quartiles where the:
- bottom quartile includes those earning less than approximately £14 per hour
- second quartile includes those earning between approximately £14 to £17 per hour
- third quartile includes those earning between approximately £17 to £19 per hour
- top quartile includes those earning over approximately £19 per hour
Quartiles allow the Environment Agency to compare employees pay (including allowance and shift pay). Unlike using grades, which only considers basic pay. It also allows us to compare all employees across our various grade structures.
7. Difference between pay gap and equal pay
Equal pay calculations compare the average male and female employees’ pay for those doing equal work (for example on the same grade). Whereas this report looks at our pay gaps. Pay gap is a comparison of the average pay for all men and all women within the organisation.
As well as our pay strategy, pay gaps are affected by the grade profile of men and women. This is positively influenced by equal treatment in:
- progression through grades
- performance management
- learning and development
- maternity return rates
- equal use of flexible working and parental leave
- inclusive leadership and culture
8. Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion
The Environment Agency is committed to creating a culture where all employees are able to be themselves and thrive no matter what their background.
To achieve this we need to go beyond legal requirements. We have:
- 20 employee networks
- 19 Executive Managers acting as senior sponsors for EDI
- policies supporting our trans, intersex and non-binary employees
Our flexible working policy promotes the importance of balancing home and working life. We consider flexible working arrangements for all jobs.
- workplace adjustments to support colleagues with disabilities
- disability leave if required for medical appointments
- personal development training for employees from minority groups
We are really proud that these activities amongst others have led to us winning:
- the 2018 Institution of Chemical Engineers diversity award
- the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index gold award 3 years in a row
- 13 in the Stonewall top 100 employers index 2019
9. How we will improve diversity in future
Our Equality Objectives will help create a workplace where all employees can be themselves. The actions we committed to in our 2017 pay gap report are part of a 3 year action plan.
- improved our pay gap by changing the way our annual pay review is calculated
- commissioned a new report to track progression up the grade structure by protected characteristic
- created 2 posts to support outreach activities with schools and universities
- celebrated national inclusion week with events across the country
- launched a breast feeding policy
- created inclusive recruitment guidance including training BAME interview panel representatives
10. Gender pay gap
10.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap for gender
42.3% (4,404) of the Environment Agency workforce is female. Across the quartiles there is a range of 35.9% to 46.0% female employees.
The minor variation in the percentage of women across the quartiles, gives us an hourly pay gap of:
|Gender ordinary hourly pay gap|
In the Environment Agency, on average more male employees occupy higher paid roles than female employees. Across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations, women make up on average 25.0% of the workforce. This is based on research from Women in Science (WISE). The Environment Agency is a science based public sector organisation. We are proud that in comparison we have 42.3% women in our workforce.
We aim to further improve our gender representation to 50%, to reflect the community we work for. We also want to address areas of our organisation where we do not have a diverse representation. In particular our physical roles where we only have 3.6% (32) women.
10.2 Bonus pay gap for gender
A higher proportion of women than men received a bonus payment:
|Employees who received a bonus||87.3%||86.1%|
But on average women received smaller bonuses than men. This is because women are more likely to:
- be in lower paid jobs
- work part time
|Gender bonus pay gap|
11. Disability pay gap
11.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap for disability
14.0% of our workforce have declared a disability. There is not much variation in the percentage of individuals who have declared a disability across the quartiles, with a range of 13.4% to 14.6%:
As there is a minor variation in the percentage of individuals who have declared a disability across the quartiles. This gives us an ordinary hourly pay gap for disability of:
|Disability ordinary hourly pay gap|
On average more individuals who have declared they do not have a disability occupy higher paid roles than employees who have declared a disability.
11.2 Bonus pay gap for disability
A similar proportion of employees with and without a disability received a bonus:
|Employees who received a bonus||88.2%||85.3%||81.9%|
On average employees with a disability received smaller bonuses than employees without a disability. This is because employees with a disability are more likely to be in lower paid jobs.
The difference in the average bonus payment for employees with a disability and employees without a disability gives a disability bonus pay gap of:
|Disability bonus pay gap|
12. Race pay gap
12.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap for race
4.14% (431) of our workforce are BAME. Across the quartiles there is a range of 3.6% to 4.6% BAME employees.
|Bottom quartile||4.4%||93.0 %||2.6%|
This similarity across the quartiles gives us an ordinary hourly race pay gap of:
|Ordinary hourly race pay gap|
On average within the Environment Agency, white employees occupy higher paid roles than BAME employees. As an organisation we’re committed to meeting the representation of 14% BAME employees to reflect the community we serve.
12.2 Bonus pay gap for race
A similar proportion of BAME and white employees received a bonus:
|Employees who received a bonus||82.4%||85.1%||86.6%|
On average BAME employees received smaller bonuses than white employees. This is because BAME employees are more likely to be in lower paid jobs.
The difference in the average bonus payment for BAME employees and white employees means that the bonus pay gap is:
|Race bonus pay gap|
13. Religion and belief pay gap
13.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap for religion and belief
40.2% (4,186) of our employees have declared a religion or belief. Across the quartiles there is a range of 37.9% to 44.0% of employees with a religion or belief.
|Quartile||Religious %||Not religious %||Unknown|
As well as consistency across the quartiles, we have a large representation of employees who have a religion and belief. This results in a religion and belief ordinary hourly pay gap of:
|Religion and belief ordinary hourly pay gap|
The mean and median pay gap is in favour for those who have declared a religion or belief.
13.2 Bonus pay gap for religion and belief
A similar proportion of employees who declared they have a religion or belief received a bonus compared to those who declared they are not religious:
|Employees who received a bonus||87.0%||84.0%||83.1%|
On average employees who declared they have a religion or belief received slightly bigger bonuses. The difference being slight is because the grade profile for employees with a religion and belief is very similar to the grade profile of employee’s without a religion and belief.
The mid value bonus (median) was exactly the same for employees who declared they have a religion or belief. The difference in the average bonus payment for employees who declared they have a religion or belief and employees who declared they do not have a religion means that the bonus pay gap was:
|Religion and belief bonus pay gap|
14. Sexual orientation pay gap
14.1 Ordinary hourly pay gap for sexual orientation
3.1% (324) of our workforce are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). Across the quartiles the proportion of LGB employees ranges from 2.0% and 3.0%. Like some other characteristics this is only a very small variation of 1.0%.
|Quartile||LGB%||Heterosexual %||Unknown %|
There is a small representation of LGB employees within the Environment Agency. Because of this minor variations to the number of LGB employees across the quartiles have a large impact on the pay gap figures.
This results in a sexual orientation ordinary hourly pay gap of:
|LGB ordinary hourly pay gap|
On average heterosexual employees occupy higher paid roles than LGB employees. As there is an under-representation of LGB employees, any change to the figures have a significant impact on the percentages of the pay gap.
14.2 Bonus pay gap for sexual orientation
A smaller proportion of LGB employees received a bonus (78.8%) than heterosexual employees (86.2%).
On average LGB employees received smaller bonuses than heterosexual employees. This is because LGB employees are on average in lower paid roles.
The difference in the average bonus payment for LGB employees and heterosexual employees means that the bonus pay gap for sexual orientation is:
|LGB bonus pay gap|