Report finds gender pay gap has widened in Jersey

The Gender Pay Gap Review Panel found that the Government of Jersey's median average gender pay gap increased from 18.3% in 2019 to 24.3% in 2020. Credit: PA Images

A scrutiny panel says "little to no progress has been made" to close the gender pay gap in Jersey since 2019 when its first report was published. The Gender Pay Gap Review Panel found that the Government's median average gender pay gap increased from 18.3% in 2019 to 24.3% in 2020.

Whilst few private sector organisations disclose their gender pay gap, PWC's Channel Islands Women in Work Index 2021 found that workplace gender inequality in the Channel Islands increased between 2017 and 2019, with Jersey falling from 20th to 24th of the 35 jurisdictions examined. The panel says that while the Government has committed to closing the public sector gender pay gap, there was not a gender sensitive approach to its policies in response to the pandemic, which negatively impacted women in the home and workplace and exacerbated the gender pay gap.

To make progress on closing the gap, it has made several recommendations:

  • Introduce flexible working practices which are inclusive to everyone

  • Commission an independent review of childcare in Jersey which includes accessibility, flexibility, quality and affordability to better inform future policy-making decisions

  • Introduce statutory gender pay gap reporting in Jersey as a matter of urgency, and consult businesses to determine the appropriate threshold level for reporting

  • Introduce a political lead for diversity, equality, and inclusion

  • Gather relevant data and publish gender statistics to implement a gender mainstreaming approach

Deputy Louise Doublet, Chair of the Gender Pay Gap Review Panel, said: "It is disappointing to see not only the lack of progress that has been made to close Jersey's gender pay gap since our first review, but that this gap has only widened.

"It is evident that, along with factors such as gender stereotyping from school age, unconscious bias in the workplace, and women taking on more domestic and caring responsibilities, the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively contributed towards the growing gender disparity.

"We are, however, pleased to see a number of Government initiatives being introduced to tackle this. We hope that our recommendations will not only assist the Government in achieving its goal of closing the gender pay gap but ensure that, through statutory reporting, other businesses are held accountable and work towards achieving gender equality in Jersey."

John Le Fondré, Chief Minister and Chair of the States Employment Board, said: “The States Employment Board welcomes the report from the Gender Pay Gap Scrutiny Review Panel. Their work continues to highlight the need for all employers to be transparent about fairness in the workplace.

“As an employer, the SEB will shortly publish their third annual gender pay gap report, and we hope to show that progress is being made to close our own gender pay gap, and we will continue to act on the recommendations made by the panel.

“We also encourage other employers in the Island to follow suit, and ensure that Jersey leads the way for addressing inequalities in the workplace and we are all transparent about gender pay inequality.