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Union tells BHRUT to ‘get serious’ after figures reveal one of largest NHS trust gender pay gaps

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 August 2020

Queen's Hospital in Romford. Picture: Steve Poston

Queen's Hospital in Romford. Picture: Steve Poston

Steve Poston

The trust that runs Queen’s and King George hospitals has one of the largest gender pay gaps among NHS trusts, according to latest figures.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) published statistics showing that in 2019, the median pay difference between female and male workers was 24.5 per cent.

It is higher than its median gap in each of the previous two years and puts BHRUT among 24 NHS trusts that had median gender pay gaps of 20pc or more last year.

The gap for all employees across the UK was 17.3pc last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Pam Okuns-Edokpayi, London regional organiser for public service union Unison, said the trust has “got to get serious” about tackling low wages.

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She said: “All employers need to get better at closing their gender pay gaps.

“NHS trusts like BHRUT must train and support more female staff to apply for higher paid jobs.

“Unfortunately until society starts placing a higher value on the support and caring jobs women tend to do, the pay gap is likely to remain stubbornly wide.”

A report published by BHRUT puts the size of the gap “predominantly” down to women being underrepresented in higher pay bands and significantly so at very senior management level, where only four of 16 staff were women last year.

It also said men are more than three times as likely as women to receive bonuses. The trust admitted in the report that it “must act more decisively”. David Amos, interim director of people and organisational development, told this paper: “The majority of our workforce are women and we accept that, like many other organisations, our gender pay gap is disappointing and we need to reduce it.

“We have more men in our medical workforce, where bonus payments are available, and one of our priorities is to redouble our efforts to increase the number of women who apply for these roles. We are pleased that representation on our board is split evenly; that more women than men occupy the most senior positions in our trust and that our lower paid workers, employed by our contractors, are now receiving the London Living Wage.”


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