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Equality information about employees


Equality information about employees 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

West Lancashire Borough Council is an equal opportunities employer with a strong commitment to equality and human rights across all its activities.

We are committed to ensuring that we are fair in our recruitment processes and that all our staff experience a positive working environment.  We are also committed to monitoring this in a number of ways:

  • By comparing the make-up of our workforce with that of the area we serve on an annual basis;
  • By analysing the experiences of our staff, by protected characteristic, across our HR functions;
  • By ensuring that we have up to date policies that are clear about the rights and responsibilities that our staff have;
  • By providing opportunities for our staff to tell us where our practices may need to improve, and supporting any staff who may be experiencing problems or difficulties.

We continue to monitor our data gathering and analysis annually, so that we can understand staff experiences and trends in greater depth.

Our approach remains proportionate – we have a workforce of 481 actual headcount as at 1 April 2018 (excluding casual workers and those who are seconded to BT Lancashire Services, of which there are 59 individual contracts of employment). Some of these employees have multiple employments with the Council, but in this equality profiling information we have treated each separate employment contract, as a separate individual. This brings our total individual roles occupied to 508 (excluding casual workers and those who are seconded to BT Lancashire Services).

The size of our workforce means that we sometimes signpost staff to support that is available to them from other organisations rather than providing it ourselves.  It also means that we are not able to publish some of our analysis – the small numbers involved in grievances and disciplinary action, for example, may mean that a percentage analysis would be not be meaningful.

 

 

 

Make-up of our workforce 

The table below shows how our workforce is made up in terms of age in actual numbers, as a percentage of the workforce, and compared to the West Lancashire Working age population..

  

Age range

As At April 2018

(headcount)

As At April 2018 as a percentage of the whole workforce

WL population estimate (2011 census data)

(Working age: 16.1% of the borough's population are outside the age ranges detailed below.)

16-19

1

0.2%

7.8%

20-29

15

2.9%

15.5%

30-39

62

12.2%

24.2% (30-44)

40-49

158

31.1%

26.7% (45-59)

50-59

206

40.6%

60-64

55

10.8%

9.7% (60-64)

65 +

11

2.2%

 

 

The age distribution of our workforce across each grade band, shown as a percentage distribution of people on that grade in each age group, is detailed in the table below:

Age Range

16-19

 

20-29

 

30-39

 

40-49

 

50-59

 

60-64

 

65+

 

 

Grade

% in grade band

% in grade band

% in grade band

% in grade band

% in grade band

% in grade band

% in grade band

Total %

 

 Scale 1a – 3

1.6%

7.9%

11.1%

17.5%

41.3%

14.3%

6.3%

63

 Scale 4 – 6

0

2.7%

9.5%

31.4%

43.9%

10.6%

1.9%

264

 SO1 - PO1

0

2.6%

20%

36.5%

29.6%

9.6%

1.7%

115

 PO2 - PO4

0

0

10.6%

31.9%

44.7%

12.8%

0

47

 SM1 - SM3

0

0

10%

30%

50%

10%

0

10

Wide

0

0

20%

40%

40%

0

0

5

WLa - WLc (Chief Officers)

0

0

0

25%

75%

0

0

4

 

Our workforce demonstrates a proportionately higher number of employees aged over 50 and a proportionately lower percentage of under 39 year olds, when compared to the working population for the Borough.

What does this age distribution mean for the Council? 

As we have a stable workforce, with a low turnover rate, this profile is to be expected as the workforce ages over time. However, to encourage employment opportunities for younger people who live within the Borough, the Council encourage managers to consider recruiting Apprentices wherever possible, by supporting managers to use apprenticeships within the Council’s workforce. In addition to this, work has been undertaken to increase accessibility to work experience placements across the Council working in partnership with West Lancashire College and Edge Hill University, with a view to helping improve workability skills of young and unemployed people across the Borough and to encourage them to consider the Council as an employer of choice.

We do not operate a default retirement age and it is anticipated that that the 60+ age band will rise, given the age profile of the Council’s employees. 

The statistics regarding pay grade broken down by age illustrates the challenges faced by the Council in respect of succession planning and talent management. It clearly demonstrates that the Council has a significant proportion of the higher graded Management workforce aged over 50 years of age. However, there are fewer younger people in lower grades to provide adequate internal promotion sources from within the existing workforce. The lower grades also show an older and aging workforce. There is a shortage of young people at all levels within the organisation. Consequently, when the older Managers leave, replacements are likely to need to come from outside the organisation, rather than be available through homegrown talent. This should help to redress the age imbalance over time, rebalancing the workforce profile by way of drawing in new talent.

There remain potential challenges for succession planning into management roles, given the age profile of the top grade bands, all having a greater number of 40 years plus incumbents

The staff turnover rate was 8.51% over the last 12 months compared to 8.49% for the previous 12 month period. Of the 2017/18 leavers, 5.27% left voluntarily for reasons such as voluntary resignation or voluntary retirement, and 3.24% for other reasons including ending of temporary contracts.  The latest survey information on local government turnover rates was published by the Local Government Association in March 2017. This indicated a median average turnover rate of 12.3% for Shire District Councils. With West Lancashire’s rate at 8.51%, the turnover is substantially below the national average. This indicates a relatively steady and stable workforce.

Of the leavers, 53% were aged over 50 years, and 47% were male, 81% declared themselves to be of White British ethnicity and 6% considered themselves to have a disability. This is comparable with the overall make up of our workforce.

In terms of gender balance 45% of the Council's employees are female compared to 52% of the general population.  We do not collect workforce profile data in respect of those employees who may have undergone gender reassignment.

What does the gender balance mean for the Council?  

We recognise that one of the most effective ways of recruiting and retaining good quality employees is to offer flexible ways of working, maximizing the potential of the workforce and ensuring that no particular sectors are disadvantaged or discriminated against.  Our Family Friendly Policy provides a framework, which takes account of the statutory rights of all employees, to be able to request a flexible working pattern.  In addition, we have policies which incorporate our approach to adoption and paternity leave, maternity support leave, parental leave, time off for dependents, job sharing, career breaks, voluntary reduced hours, annualized and compressed hours, flexi time, homeworking and term time working arrangements.

94% of our workforce declares themselves to be White British compared to 97% of the Borough’s population, with 4% of the workforce who preferred not to disclose their ethnicity, and 1% confirming they were from other non-White British ethnicities with 1% declaring White European. 42.8% of the Council’s workforce have declared themselves, in relation to Faith and Belief, to be Christian, compared to 76% of the local population, 0.4%  as Muslim, 16.5% are of no faith and 40.3% preferred not to answer this question. This compares proportionately to 17% in the population claiming not to have any faith, the remaining 7% of the population have beliefs that include Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.

What do these ethnicity and faith and belief factors mean for the Council? 

We introduced workforce profiling in 2011 and extended the range of personal information that we asked for in 2012. This was refreshed by a workforce update survey in 2014.  We take steps to explain the significance of the data we asked for, and the safeguards that are in place around confidentiality.  We have no evidence to suggest staff are reluctant to release information for any other reason than privacy. However, it seems people are more willing to release this information to the national census 2011, than in the work place. We are a year into the introduction of an employee self-service module to our payroll and HR records. This provides individuals with an opportunity to update their personal information themselves on line. Whilst it was envisaged that this will improve the accuracy of our profiling data going forward, there is little change from the previous non reported elements of the profiling data in these sensitive areas, however the workforce profile is broadly similar in both ethnicity and religion to the local population, as far as our information allows us to compare.

4.9% of the Council’s workforce consider themselves to be disabled – The Council does not collect information in respect of detailing different forms of disability. With 4.9% of employees currently considering themselves to be disabled, 22.0% have not disclosed their status or have confirmed they prefer not to say. This compares to 5.2% who declared themselves to be disabled in the last review and 20.8% who preferred not to disclose whether or not they had a disability. In the 2011 census it was estimated that 15% of the working age population considered themselves to be disabled or with limiting long-term illnesses. However, there will be a significant number of these people who will not be in a position to actively seek work. We do not have a population statistic that shows us the percentage of working age disabled people seeking employment or who are in employment. Comparisons about community representation in this regard are therefore difficult.

What does this mean for the Council? 

The level of disclosure in this area has remained stable since the last workforce profile refresh. There is no information to enable us to determine the cause of this but this is an area we will continue to monitor. 

2.0% of our staff population have stated that they are gay, lesbian or bisexual with 0.8% preferring not to disclose their sexual orientation and 37.2% with no sexuality recorded.

What does this level of disclosure mean for the Council? 

We continue to acknowledge that there is still a high level of non-disclosure on sexual orientation, though this has reduced slightly from last year.  However, the level of disclosure in this area has increased for the second year running. This is encouraging as it indicates a minor growth in confidence in the workforce feeling more at ease to disclose personal details. Again, we have no evidence that this suggests an underlying issue, but will monitor this protected characteristic carefully at the next data refresh and take specific steps to encourage staff to share this information with us, if necessary.

The 59 individual contracts of employment with West Lancashire Borough Council but seconded to Lancashire County Council (LCC)/British Telecom Lancashire Services Ltd. (BTLS) (on 31 March 2018) have the following profile, which is not as detailed as the wider West Lancashire Borough Council Workforce, due to differences in information gathering adopted by LCC and the need to anonymise smaller working groups for this type of statistical information.

The Gender balance is 69% female to 31% male. There are no staff with any recorded disability and all staff have no recorded ethnicity.

76% of the workforce is in the 40 to 65 year old age groups. In view of the small size of this staff group, it is difficult to make any real analytical commentary.. The profile of this group will continue to be monitored annually.

The experiences of our staff

 

We are currently able to analyse pay and grade data by gender In line with the Gender Pay Gap calculations. This report is calculated as a snapshot date of 31 March 2017. The calculations were undertaken based on a headcount of 533 staff designated as full pay relevant employees, including employees currently seconded to BT Lancashire Services Ltd. Staff who were either on sick pay or maternity pay, and so not in receipt of full pay on 31 March 2017 have been discounted.

  • The mean gender pay gap of women's pay against men's pay for the Council shows women's mean pay is 0.35% lower than men's pay.
  • The median gender pay gap of women's pay against men's pay for the Council shows women's median pay is 0.59% lower than men's pay.

Pay quartiles by gender

Band

Males

Females

Description

4

54.5%

45.5%

Includes all employees whose standard hourly rate places them in the lower quartile

3

47.8%

52.2%

Includes all employees whose standard hourly rate places them above the lower quartile but at or below the median

2

50%

50%

Includes all employees whose standard hourly rate places them above the median but at or below the upper quartile

1

51.1%

48.9%

Includes all employees whose standard hourly rate places them in the upper quartile

The figures set out above have been calculated using the standard methodologies used in the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. View the Gender Pay Gap Report.

 

The gender make up with each grade of Part Time (PT) (less than 36 hpw) and Full Time (FT) working is illustrated below:

 

Scale 1a – 3

Scale 4 – 6

SO1 – PO1

PO2 – PO4

SM1 – SM3

WLd to WLe

WLa –WLc

Total

Male FT

22

126

50

19

6

5

1

229

Male PT

4

36

6

2

0

0

0

48

% PT Males within Grade Band

15.4%

22.2%

10.7%

9.5%

0

0

0

17.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Males 277

Female FT

6

59

29

22

4

0

3

123

Female PT

31

43

30

4

0

0

0

108

% PT

Female within Grade Band

83.8%

42.2%

50.8%

15.4%

0

0

0

46.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Females 231

 

Exploring the working patterns within each grade band, it reveals that of all female employees, 46.8% work part time (less than 36 hpw) compared to only 17.3% of all males in the workforce who work part time. There are 156 people working part time of which 108 are female compared to 48 male.

What does this mean for the Council?

The mean gender pay gap of women's pay against men's pay for the Council shows women's mean pay is 0.35% lower than men's pay. The median gender pay gap of women's pay against men's pay for the Council shows women's median pay is 0.59% lower than men's pay.

This demonstrates that there is no significant gender pay gap within the Council's workforce. In terms of Equal Pay, the Council implemented a revision of terms and conditions as part of the NJC single status agreement 2009.  This looked at a number of terms and conditions including the length of the working week and pay structures.  An equal pay audit was undertaken in 2017.  The Council has adopted the GLPC main Job Evaluation Scheme across the organisation and the GLPC Senior Manager Scheme and Hay methodology for officers graded WLe and above. This provides a recognised evaluation process that ensures that all employees are treated fairly in respect of pay and grading.

Examining part-time working, it is clear that a significantly higher proportion of female employees work part-time compared to male employees.

The recent Gender Pay Gap reporting legislation requires employers with over 250 employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the gender pay gap is between male and female employees. It also demonstrates the gap over pay quartiles. None of this shows any significant gaps for the Council in relation to gender pay gap issues.

During the last 12 months, 9 of our staff took a period of maternity leave. All 9 returned to work, 3 working on voluntary reduced hours, and 6 returning to their previous contracted hours with no reduction in working hours.

Training

The Council provided 295 corporate training places to 145 people last year following the completion of the annual appraisal process. There were an additional 357 training places to 82 people on the Leadership and Management Development Training programme in the 12 month period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

The corporate training equality information gathered is illustrated below:

Ethnicity: Of those employees, who attended the training, 93% had a White British ethnicity, 0.7% were White Irish, 1.4% were White Other European, 0.7% were mixed other or other and 4.2% chose not to declare their ethnicity.  

Religion or belief: Of the 145 employees trained, 56.3% were Christian, 20.1% declared they had no religion and 23.6% chose not to declare a belief.

Age: The age range of training provided was 0.7% of employees aged between 16 to 19, 1.4% aged 20 to 29, 18% aged 30 to 39, 32.6% aged 40 to 49, 40.4% aged 50 to 59 and 6.9% aged over 60 years.

Gender: Of the employees undertaking corporate training 34.7% were male and 65.3% were female.

Disability: 74.3% of employees that were trained had no disability, while 4.8% of employees had a disability, and 20.9% preferring not to declare if they had a disability or not.

Sexual orientation: 22.9% of employees trained last year preferred not to declare their sexual orientation, 76.4% of employees were heterosexual, and 0.7% declared they were gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Part Time Working: 70% of employees work full time and 30% work less than 36 hours per week (Part Time)

The Leadership and Management Development Training equality information gathered is set out below:

Ethnicity: Of those employees who attended the training, 91.4% had a White British ethnicity and 2.5% preferred not to declare their ethnicity, whilst 1.2% had Other as their declared ethnicity, with 1.2 % of mixed ethnicity, 2.5 % White Irish and 1.2% white Other European.  

Religion or belief: 59.2% of the employees trained were Christian, 16.1% declared they had no religion, 22.2% chose not to declare a belief and 2.5% stated Other.

Age: The age range of training provided was 11.1% of employees aged between 30 and 39, 37.2% aged 40 to 49, 41.9% aged 50 to 59 and 9,8% aged 60+.

Gender: 54.3% were male employees and 45.7% were female employees who received training during the 12 months.

Disability: Of those trained 76.5% were employees with no disability and 3.7% were employees with a disability. 19.8% of employees trained chose not to declare if they had a disability or not.

Sexual orientation: 22.2% of employees trained last year preferred not to declare their sexual orientation, 76.6% of employees were heterosexual and 1.2% of employee trained declared they were gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Part Time Working: 86.4% of employees worked full time and 13.6% worked less than 36 hours per week (Part Time)

Disciplinary Cases

 

There have been 6 disciplinary cases during the year of which 2 resulted in the issuing of some form of sanction, 3 resigned prior to conclusion and 1 remains ongoing at 1 April 2018. The numbers involved here are small and we are unable to draw conclusions in respect of trends. However, the Council has not identified any issues that relate to a specific protected characteristic or characteristics. 

Grievance cases

There have been 2 formal grievances raised with the Council in the last 12 months. However, the grievances were not about equality issues and it is not possible to draw any equality conclusions from these two instances.

Career break

There are currently no employees either on an active career break or who have returned from a career break in the last 12 months.

Our employment policies

We are committed to reviewing our employment policies on a regular basis as part of our Equality Action Plan. The Equality Impact Assessment for each policy will also be refreshed during this process.

 

Supporting our staff

All staff have access to a robust grievance procedure which enables them to deal appropriately with any issues of concern they have within their working environment.  We also operate a Dignity at Work Policy, which provides clarification on expected behaviours of employees and managers and details the processes that should be followed should an individual feel they are being bullied, harassed or victimised in the workplace.

In terms of supporting our disabled staff, we offer a number of options to encourage disabled employees to remain in work, including phased returns, workplace adjustments, the Access to Work scheme and looking at alternative jobs.  We also offer occupational health support, where appropriate.

Whilst we do not have the resources to run in-house employee networks, we can signpost staff to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Network, Disability Network and Forum of Asian and Black Employees run by Lancashire County Council.

Employees are encouraged to become members of a trades union representing them on the appropriate national negotiating body.  They are also encouraged to join trades unions locally and the Council recognises GMB and UNISON for local consultation.

Recruitment

For the period April 2017 to March 2018, the Council advertised 72 vacancies. Of these vacancies, the Council made successful appointments to 46 of them. 11 or the 72 recorded vacancies were multiple readvertisements.

To reach this appointment figure of 46; 499 people applied for posts across the Council in this year and the Council’s managers shortlisted 178 of these applicants.

So applying these statistics to each post filled, for every post on average 10.8 people applied, of which an average of 3.9 were shortlisted and interviewed. The equality profile of the people who applied, were shortlisted and ultimately appointed to the posts are detailed below:

Ethnicity

Ethnicity

White other

White British

Do not wish to declare

Non-white British

Total

Number of applications

7

456

16

20

499

Number of shortlisted candidates

3

157

11

7

178

Number of appointments

0

41

5

0

46

 

This demonstrates that the ethnicity representation at all stages of recruitment is proportionate and consistent.. It does not illustrates any obvious discrimination or particular bias at any of the recruitment stages. The proportion of White British applicants is also representative of the population in the West Lancashire area. The population of West Lancashire has less than a half a percent of Non-White British residents, based on the 2011 census. However, there would have been an expectation that proportionately there would have been 2 appointments from Non-white British ethnicity, following 20 applicants (4%) and a similar percentage of shortlisted candidates from this group. This situation will be monitored.

 Religion and belief

Religion or belief

Christian

Muslim

Hindu

Buddhist

Jewish

Not declared

No religion

Other

Total

Number of applications

279

8

2

2

0

21

172

15

499

Number of shortlisted candidates

105

3

0

00

0

14

53

3

178

Number of appointments

26

0

0

0

0

7

13

0

46

 

The representation at all levels does show a consistent ratio throughout the interview process, again, not indicating any discrimination or disadvantage to any particular group from these results. The Council will continue to monitor these figures to maintain the same consistency in future years. However 2% of the applications were non-Christian, but none were appointed. Proportionately it would be anticipated that approximately 2% of the appointments would have been from the non-christian religions noted. This is another area to monitor for the future.  

Gender

Gender

Male

Female

Not declared

Total

Number of applications

195

294

10

499

Number of shortlisted candidates

69

102

7

178

Number of appointments

13

31

2

46

 

This male / female ratio from application to appointment shows a significant increase in the proportions of females successful at interview. This does not necessarily mean there is any particular gender bias, but it is an area that the Council will monitor.

Age

Age

16- 20

21- 25

26- 30

31- 35

36- 40

41- 45

46- 50

51- 55

56- 60

60+

not declared

Total

Number of applications

7

40

49

55

62

60

84

71

22

20

29

499

Number of shortlisted candidates

2

12

21

18

17

13

29

28

11

8

19

178

Number of appointments

1

3

8

3

6

4

6

6

2

1

6

46

 

It is encouraging to see applicants in all age groups applying, and being successful in achieving positions with the Council. The success of younger candidates in the process is not as proportionate, with older, possibly more experienced candidates proving to be more successful than the ratios at application and shortlisted would have indicated.

Disability

Disabled

Yes

No

Not declared

Total

Number of applications

18

451

30

499

Number of shortlisted candidates

8

151

19

178

Number of appointments

1

37

8

46

 

The proportion of disabled applicants reaching shortlisting is proportionate to those who applied. However, this success does not continue to interview. There are a high number of applicants who chose not to declare whether or not they had a disability. This is greater than in previous years.  No specific conclusions can be drawn from this information, but the Council will continue to monitor this trend.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation

Heterosexual

Bisexual

Lesbian

Gay

Not declared

Total

Number of applicants

445

8

6

2

38

499

Number of shortlisted applicants

151

3

2

0

22

178

Number of appointments

36

2

1

0

7

46

There are lower proportion of applicants who chose not to declare their sexual orientation, than in recent years which is encouraging. We will continue to monitor this and the ratio of applicants to successful appointments in coming years to assist in identifying any barriers to appointments being made from a diverse range of candidates.

Visit the recruitment page for further information.