Oxford City Council is to begin monitoring the gap in pay between its LGBT+ staff and non-LGBT+ staff. The decision follows a recommendation made by Green Party Councillor Chris Jarvis at a meeting of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee.
Presently, the Council is required to monitor and report on its gender pay gap, as all employers with 250 or more employees are legally bound to publish gender pay gap information every year. In addition, the Council also already monitors and reports on its ethnicity and disability pay gaps. However, the Council has not previously reported on its LGBT+ pay gap, an area that the Council’s Scrutiny Committee deemed was missing from its equalities reporting.
Speaking on the decision to begin monitoring the LGBT+ pay gap, Green Party Group leader on Oxford City Council Chris 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.”
While data on the LGBT+ pay gap across the country is limited, research has suggested that it could be as high as 16% on average. Some research has indicated that bisexual men earn 31% less than their straight counterparts. Studies have also shown that gay and lesbian applicants are 5% less likely to get asked for a job interview than straight applicants for jobs in the UK.
Deputy leader of the Green Party Group on Oxford City Council Lucy Pegg said:
“It is right that the Council has been going beyond its legal obligations and reporting on its ethnicity and disability pay gaps. This latest decision is the next step in the right direction.
“Oxford has one of the highest LGBT+ populations in the country. We’re proud to be part of an inclusive city. Now it’s time for the City Council to make sure that inclusivity is reflected in its employment practices.”
According to the 2021 census, almost 7% of Oxford identifies with an LGB+ sexual orientation. The census also found that 1% of the population of Oxford has a gender identity that is different from that which they were assigned at birth.