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Gender pay gap legislation introduced in April 2017 requires all employers with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap for workers.

The TUC advocates that:

  • all employers should publish information about their gender pay gap, to support the fair treatment and reward of all workers irrespective of gender
  • all employers should publish information about their ethnicity pay gap, as an important first step towards tackling the pay penalty experienced by Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers
  • all employers should put in place action plans to address pay gaps identified by their analysis.

The TUC is not required to publish our gender pay gap, as we have fewer than 250 employees. However we choose to publish both our gender and our ethnicity pay gaps.

Pay at the TUC

The TUC’s pay system covers grades ranging from manual to managerial levels. Grades have been fully job evaluated in accordance with equal pay principles. All jobs are allocated to the relevant grade according to the level of responsibility and skills required in the role. Most grades have three pay points and staff are expected to move through these with length of service. The TUC does not pay bonus pay.

TUC’s gender pay gap

Comparison of mean pay at the TUC shows that there is a gap of less than 0.1 per cent between men and women’s pay at April 2021. Comparison of median pay shows that there is a gap of 9.6 per cent in favour of men.

In 2020-21, the TUC experienced higher than average staff turnover, and more lower-paid men left than higher-paid men. This means that although the “median man” was on the same TUC pay grade as the “median woman”, the median man additionally received London weighting. 

In a small organisation, relatively small changes, can have an impact on our overall pay gap figures. We continue to keep a watchful eye on this data to make sure it does not reflect more significant underlying issues which require action.

At the TUC, 42 per cent of people in the lower pay quartile are women, as are 64 per cent in our lower middle quartile. Women make up 58 per cent of our upper middle quartile, and 45 per cent of our upper quartile. There have been small changes over the last four years with staff turnover, but this pattern is broadly similar to previous years.

TUC’s ethnicity pay gap

Comparison of median pay at the TUC shows that there is a gap of 10.13 per cent per cent between white and BME staff pay at April 2021. Comparison of mean pay shows a gap of 10.22 per cent in favour of white staff.  Both of these gaps have narrowed since last year.

At the TUC, 38 per cent of people in the lower pay quartile are BME, as are 20 per cent in our lower middle quartile. BME staff make up 29 per cent of our upper middle quartile of pay, and 22 per cent of our upper quartile, reflecting a more even spread of BME staff across the different quartiles than in previous years.

A relatively high proportion of the lowest paid quartile of our staff are BME. We directly employ staff in our cleaning, catering and support roles, rather than outsourcing them as in many organisations. These jobs are in the lowest quartile of our pay bands. Reflecting the occupational segregation experienced by BME workers across the labour market, these roles are more likely to be filled by BME staff. We are a Living Wage employer. More of our BME staff work in roles which attract London weighting.

We have acted to increase the number of BME staff in middle and senior roles and will continue to take action to increase the diversity of our staff in higher pay quartiles, and improve our ethnicity pay gap.

What we are doing to eradicate our pay gaps and ensure fairness for all our staff

TUC is committed to fair pay regardless of gender and race. We have taken action towards eliminating pay gaps:

  • We have simple pay structures to help us avoid bias. For example, our pay scales have only three pay points, and we don’t pay bonuses or performance-related pay.
  • We have undergone an equal pay audit which enabled us to identify and reduce other causes of gender pay inequality.
  • We have chosen to have a narrower gap between our top and bottom earners than many employers.
  • We recognise staff trade unions and negotiate our pay and conditions with them.
  • Women and men work at all levels of the organisation. Our most senior staff member is a woman - Frances O’Grady, our general secretary - and women make up the majority of our senior management team. Posts on lower grades are fairly evenly divided between women and men.
  • We support women who have children with fair maternity leave and flexible working policies. We also provide financial support for childcare and paid parental leave. We encourage men to play a full part in parenting by offering fair paternity leave and shared parental leave. We support BME and female employees’ career progression through training and development opportunities.
  • We have taken steps to prevent bias in recruitment wherever we can – for example, by anonymising applicants’ personal details during shortlisting, removing educational institutions from applications and aiming to ensure ensuring every recruitment panel includes at least one woman and one BME panel member.

In 2018, we recognised we needed to do more to make our staff profile reflect the predominantly London base of the TUC, particularly at senior grades.  We set an aspiration to fill 50 per cent of recruited posts at more senior and regional levels with BME staff.  As part of this work, we revised and improved our recruitment processes to support, encourage and inform BME applicants. In the year to end of June 2021, just under 40 per cent of our more senior and regional recruited posts were filled by BME staff.  As part of our commitment to build a more inclusive TUC, we have listened to our exiting staff and are beginning to build a programme of activity based on these conversations and findings.

The TUC will continue to monitor our pay gaps and take action to ensure we are treating all our staff fairly and reflecting the diversity of trade union members.

I, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, confirm that our calculations are accurate and that our gender pay gap has been calculated in accordance with ACAS guidance.


Frances O'Grady

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