Lewisham Council: #BehindEveryGreatCity is a 10% gender pay gap


How would this be proven, in practise?


Why is that relevant? That’s a matter of evidence, not whether the act itself is illegal.


A private company should be free to sack its staff without having to prove the unprovable. In this case it would be practically impossible to prove or disprove that staff were sacked to alter gender pay figures.

What happens if Lewisham Council chose to reduce its waste collection workforce (mostly men), and then one of those men made the claim that the root cause was “gaming the gender wage gap stats” - how would the Council prove otherwise?


For the reasons outlined in my private message, I’m not engaging in this any further Chris.

And thank you for removing the unnecessary dig you made on my profession. It’s appreciated.


What a lot of hypothetical questions here.

If, as suggested, the publication of these stats generates enquiries from employees or attracts attention from outside, that is a good thing to push on a general societal movement towards equality and non-discrimination. Employers with sound business practices will be quite able to manage, and unfounded ET claims or lawsuits concerning discrimination will be judged on their legal merits as they always have been.

Any employer is at liberty to explain their own published stats and it is not illegal to have a gender pay gap. though it would seem prudent for an employer to understand the issue and be able to explain.

eg one published legal sourced checklist for employers to minimise the risk of gender pay issues:-
Evaluate – Organisations with more than 250 employees have legal reporting requirements, but any business with more than a handful of staff should evaluate whether any jobs involve ‘equal work’.
Report – If any roles are found to entail equal work, then at least annual reporting should be set up to compare the average salaries of men and of women in equal roles.
Investigate – Sometimes differences in pay can be justified objectively but any such reasons should be recorded for future reference.
Correct – If there are pay discrepancies that cannot be objectively justified, then they must be corrected and the causes addressed to avoid a gap reopening.

“Monitoring your gender pay gap may seem like another piece of difficult or even unnecessary bureaucracy,” “but it shouldn’t be too difficult an exercise to carry out. If the simple fairness of paying people equally to do the same job isn’t enough to persuade businesses to do so, they need to realise that getting it wrong is likely to cost a lot more.”


I think you’re confusing the words “liberty” and “compulsion”

There may be no legal compulsion, but instead there will be societal compulsion.

This law is designed to create societal pressure (read: mob rule) against employers that cannot demonstrate equality of outcome.

In my opinion, it will hurt benign employers who offer equality of opportunity but who do not display equal outcomes (for perfectly legitimate reasons).

It is precisely this sort of regulation that discourages businesses from taking on staff in the UK


there is no confusion on my part thank you. Your extreme views and rhetoric have driven one person off this thread and I think I will join them.


Could you quote where I have expressed “extreme views” please? And also, before tone policing other people’s posts for rhetorical statements, you might want to look first at your own.


@ChrisBeach - worst form of rhetoric possible and in a generalised statement form too.

Where is the evidence ?

Good companies will not be discouraged by these factors in any way.

Of course you will always find someone who is willing to express that simplistic view.

There is no real evidence that best practice businesses see these factors as a hindrance and anyway aren’t we being told that employment is at best levels in recent years.

Or is that just party political guff.


“Prove the unprovable” would almost certainly have no meaning to most people.

Are we straying into meaningless rhetoric here ?


That’s your opinion. I have mine, based on observing the relative performance of similar nations with different employment regulation regimes (France in the Hollande era vs the U.K. in the Cameron era as a striking example).

There’s no need for the knee-jerk criticism in your post.

This topic is getting far wider than the situation with Lewisham Council and unfortunately if it continues to attract reactionary posts and personal finger-pointing it will have to be moved into General Politics.


France (along with Belgium) has one of the strongest mandatory workers consultation regimes in the world - so what point are you making ?

And such accusatorial rhetoric now and so personal too. Nothing knee jerk in my commentary.

And as you demonstrate from time-to-time when you perceive that the balance of the argument is not in your favour when you have purposefully attempted to steer it off-topic, you elect to deploy the “move to another category” tactic.


After a couple of rereads I’m not convinced that people are using the same definition for gender pay gap. So to ensure I’m using it correctly, or indeed working from the same understanding at others I’d thought I’d take a minute to say what I understand what a gender pay gap is, and then see if others agree or not.

I’ll start by outlining what I think it is not.

It is not gender parity, insofar as it does not show whether an organisation has an equal number of either gender in job positions.

It is not pay equality. For you can absolute pay equality in an organisation (like members of the House of Commons) but still have a gender pay gap. Though it is also possible to have pay inequality and no gender pay gap, however unlikely.

The gender pay gap is simply the average difference between how much men or women are paid in an organisation. It is a strong indicator as to whether one gender is performing better than another in any organisation. But it is only that… an indicator.

Given the regulatory requirement, I do applaud the 800+ organisations who have declared early particularly those with a substantial gender pay gap. It isn’t necessarily the size of the gap, but what organisations can or intend to do with this information.

An organisation can first make an effort to determine the root cause or combination of these causes which bias a gender in their organisation. Are specific roles more attractive to one gender over another? Are those roles necessarily lower/higher paying and is there something the organisation can do to address this? Are there working conditions which may deter one gender over another? An example is the House of Commons. Is it absolutely necessary to operate in the unsociable hours it does simply because it always been done that way? Or is there an actual bias within the organisation for hiring one gender over another?

I gather the threshold for declaration was set at 250 as any lower number wouldn’t be as meaningful. I wonder if there is an argument to raise that threshold to 500? But with larger organisations the gender pay gap can be a strong indication that one gender is advancing through the ranks to more senior position and pay over another gender.

If we are to believe that men and women are equally able to do most jobs then we should expect across a large organisation for both women and men to be earning, on average, the same amount of pay.

If we don’t believe that then the alternative is you believe one gender more capable than the other.

So I think private and public sector should embrace this process and embrace their results. If a gap exists learn why and take steps to address it.

The truth of the matter is some gender pay gaps may be absolutely unvoidable. Some industries or government sectors may need to determine what level of gender pay gap is acceptable. And I also think there should be a conversation around whether a little amount of gender pay gap is also acceptable and to what degree.


Could we ALL keep to the point without making it personal please or I will have to call a tea break. By all means discuss the issue but keep it civil.


Could you please look at your post and reflect on it. If needs be amend it and consider the forum guidelines for posts being moved. Thank you.


Can you clarify what ‘how’ means in this statement? Is it ‘how much’? Or something else?


This matter has been dealt with in correspondence.


I take some issue with how the topic was presented in the title.

#BehindEveryGreatCity is a campaign from the Mayor of London to mark the 100th anniversary of the first women to get the vote in the UK, but also to take stock of the inequalities that still exist and to take positive action to address them.

Understanding the gender equality gap and where it exists is an important step in this process. And as I said before I think organisations announcing early regardless of the outcome should be applauded.

It should probably have read how much.