Public sector gender pay gap

31 October 2018

Gender pay gap

Researchers at Cardiff University will evaluate the size of the gender pay gap within UK public sector occupations such as teaching and nursing after successfully securing a research grant from the Office of Manpower Economics (OME).

The research will inform the work of the independent public sector pay review bodies. Professor Melanie Jones and Dr Ezgi Kaya from Cardiff Business School will use large scale data to identify whether gender differences in pay and occupational choice can be explained by personal characteristics like education and work experience and/or job-related characteristics such as hours of work.

The project is part of OME’s research, analysis and advice service which supports the eight UK pay review bodies by obtaining timely, high quality evidence to inform annual pay recommendations across the UK public sector.

Melanie Jones, Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business School, said: “The potential impact of this project is enormous when you consider that the work of the OME and the pay review bodies impacts upon 2.5 million workers, or around 45% of public sector staff, with a combined annual pay bill of approximately £100 billion.

“Ezgi and I will be building on some of my earlier work with our colleague Professor Vicky Wass which showed that the gender pay gap is narrower in the public sector than the private sector in the UK.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to explore this in more depth by considering key occupations covered by the pay review bodies.”

As part of the collaboration with the OME, Professor Jones and colleague Dr Kaya will analyse nationally representative data across a diverse range of public sector occupations including within the armed forces, healthcare, prison services, teaching and policing.

As well as quantifying the size of the gender pay gap across the public sector, the researchers will consider the drivers of such differences in remuneration between men and women before recommending what might be done to reduce or challenge these inequalities.

The project is already underway and is due to report its findings in April 2019. The research will be published on the OME website.

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