• Coventry and Rugby CCG’s 2019 gender pay gap is worse than any NHS organisation reported the year before
  • CCG says it is working on recruitment and training processes

A clinical commissioning group that pays men almost twice as much as women has said it will take steps to address its gender pay gap.

Coventry and Rugby CCG paid men £18.27 more than women per hour on average — a difference of 46.3 per cent — in 2019, according to a report referenced in its latest governing body papers. Its median pay gap was 44.9 per cent.

Women at the CCG earned an average hourly rate of £21.17, while men earned an average of £39.44 per hour.

Most NHS organisations are yet to report their 2019 results. But Coventry and Rugby’s are worse than any reported by an NHS body the year before. The worst median gender pay gap in 2018 was Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust’s 39.9 per cent. West Suffolk CCG had the widest mean gap at 43.5 per cent. 

The main driver of Coventry and Rugby CCG’s gender pay gap was the fact it employs substantially more women than men in lower-paid roles, according to the report. On 31 March 2019, 86 per cent of its band 1-7 roles were held by women. At bands 8-9, 80 per cent of roles were filled by women. But slightly more men than women were employed in non-agenda for change roles, which are typically senior management positions. 

Staff in pay bands at Coventry and Rugby as of 31 March 2019 

 Band Men  Women  Total     Band Men  Women  Total
2  1  0  1      8a  3  24  27
3  4 40  44      8b   4 15   19
 5  20  25      8c  2  4  6
 3   33  36      8d  0  3  3
 2  20 22      9   3  1  4
 6  19 25      Non AFC   24  22  46
            Total 57 201 258

Source: Coventry and Rugby gender pay gap report 2018-19

The report stated: “The CCG’s pay bands are determined by Agenda for Change. Through this, and the job matching methodology involved, roles of equal value receive equal remuneration.”

Gender pay gap reporting compares men and women’s pay across an entire organisation, as opposed to equal pay reporting which compares the pay differences between men and women who perform similar roles.

All organisations with more than 250 employees must report their gender pay statistics to the government. 

Public sector organisations are also obligated to reduce their gender pay gap. In the report, the CCG said it will check for gender bias in its recruitment processes and training opportunity uptake. It will also monitor the application of policies such as flexible working and scrutinise staff survey results and exit interviews.

A CCG spokesman said: “One of the CCG’s core values is to be respectful and inclusive and to empower our staff. The CCG is committed to continually promoting equality within our workforce, including through pay.

“The CCG has begun working on the recommendations outlined in the report, but it is currently too early to report on progress.”

CCGs listed on the gender pay gap service had a median pay gap of 15.89 per cent in 2018-19. Trusts had a lower gap at 10 per cent, according to The Guardian. The median gender pay gap among all UK employees was 17.3 per cent in 2019, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Trade union Unison’s head of health Sara Gorton said years of reform had caused problems at CCGs. She added: “CCGs have been in a state of constant flux since the disruptive Lansley reforms. Staff have been moved in and out of jobs and there’s been multiple mergers between organisations.

“In this climate, and with many staff outside the scope of the NHS job evaluation scheme, it’s unsurprising to see such disappointing figures.”

Updated 10.00 4th February 2020 to include the average hourly rate paid to men and women at Coventry and Rugby CCG.