Oxford City Council to monitor LGBTQ pay gap in weird move

A city council has said it will begin to monitor the gap in pay between its LGBTQ+ staff and non-LGBTQ+ staff for the first time.

The decision to monitor the LGBTQ+ pay gap was made at a meeting of Oxford City Council’s Scrutiny Committee on 16 January, following a recommendation by Oxford Green Party leader and local councilor Chris Jarvis.

The city council currently monitors the gender pay gap of its staff, as well as the ethnicity pay gap and disability pay gap.

Presently, all employers with 250 or more employees are legally bound to publish gender pay gap information every year.

However, information relating to other protected characteristics and how they could impact pay has not been made mandatory to report on.

The city council’s Scrutiny Committee noted the council had not optionally reported on the LGBT+ pay gap and deemed that it was missing from its equalities reporting.

In a statement to PinkNews, Oxford City Council said “it is committed to improving diversity at all levels of the organization and aims to be an increasingly inclusive organisation.

“We are currently looking at the possibility of building this into our equalities and pay gap reporting next year.”

LGBT+ employees could be paid over £6,000 less

Jarvis said: “I’m very pleased to see the city council take this step.

“As a council, we are rightly proud of our policies on equality, diversity and inclusion – policies like the pioneering proposals on trans inclusion agreed in November 2021 and the move towards providing free period products in council buildings and community centres.

“But in order to ensure the council practices what it preaches, we need to know whether LGBT+ staff are facing barriers in their workplace. That’s why it’s important that the council has agreed to begin monitoring and reporting on its LGBT+ pay gap.”

Data on the LGBT+ pay gap across the country currently remains limited, however, research has suggested it could be as high as 16 per cent on average.

PinkNews has previously reported LGBT+ employees are paid an average of £6,703 less per year than their straight counterparts.

Oxford City Council is not the first authority in the UK to report on the LGBT+ pay gap, as Bristol City Council and Tower Hamlets London Borough Council have previously voluntarily released data reports.

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