This is the fourth year of reporting our gender pay gap for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces (BCH). Legislation requires each of the three forces to report the gender pay gap separately, but we work jointly as a tri-force to identify and address actions to improve equality, diversity and inclusion, in addition to local activity within each force.
The breakdown in gender demographics for police officers and police staff shows that we have a higher proportion of female police staff to males. There has been an increase in officer numbers in 2019/20 which has seen a 12.5% increase in the number of female officers employed in the Force. Although females still represent a lower proportion this increase is a step in the right direction to bridge this gap.
Breakdown of workforce
Looking at the female and male split at each officer rank, we have seen an increase in the percentage of female Constables. In 2018/19 34% of all Constables were female, and this increased to 36% in 2019/20. Typically, however the senior rank proportion (Chief Inspector and above) shows females make up just over half of the total headcount.
2018/19 Officer headcount
2019/20 Officer headcount
Senior Officer - promotion progression
Promotions processes across our three collaborated Forces are the same for male and female officers. In 19/20 the tri-force promotions resulted in the following female promotions taking place:
Overall there were four female applicants at this rank. This represented 50% of those eligible to apply. We are pleased to say that all four applicants were successfully promoted. Of the three female superintendents in Bedfordshire that were eligible to apply, two applied and were successful in the promotions process this year.
At this rank there were five female applicants in total. This represented 45% of those eligible to apply. Three of the five passed their promotion. In Bedfordshire three female Chief Inspectors were eligible to apply of which two applied and one was successful in the promotions process.
There were 21 female applicants. This represented 36% of those eligible to apply. Overall eight applicants passed of which four were successful Bedfordshire officers. They represented 27% of the Bedfordshire cohort eligible to apply.
In Bedfordshire Police our Assistant Chief Constable (ACC Jacqueline Sebire) is female, representing positive female representation at the most senior ranks.
The gender pay gap
The median (the mid-point in the range) gender pay gap for police staff and police officers combined is 9.83%. The mean (the whole range expressed as an average) gender pay gap is 7.31%.
When we split out the data for staff and officers we can see that:
The median (the mid-point in the range) pay gap for police staff is 6.71% and for police officers it is 0%.
The mean (the whole range expressed as an average) pay gap for staff is 8.92% and for officers it is 2.6%.
In this year there are no significant changes in the quartiles breakdowns but they are starting to show a change in our profiling. The key changes being the 5% increase in female officers in the Q4 profile and that the small increase in the Q2 are starting to show an increase in female promotion in the ranks.
The bonus gender pay gap
has been stated before there is not a traditional bonus scheme for the police officer ranks, but there is Home Office national guidance introduced in 2003 that allows Forces to make one-off bonus payments of between £50 and £500 when an officer has carried out work of an outstandingly demanding, unpleasant or important nature. For the Firearms unit, there is also a national agreement for bonus payments to be made as an agreed retention incentive. Though paid as a bonus payment in previous years these are now being paid as a temporary targeted variable payment which has been introduced since 2017. This scheme allows Forces to recognise specialist skills and to assist with retaining officers in these types of roles. For the purpose of reporting they are still included in the gender pay gap figures. The value of these payments in this unit remain higher and can be up to a maximum total of £2,000 per officer annually. The situation remains unchanged that the majority of firearm officers tend to be male, and this continues to affect the bonus gender pay gap data this year.
Police staff are eligible to receive honoraria payments for work that is over and above their normal duties and/or of particular importance or quality and payments require formal sign off to review the reason for such payments.
Staff and officers combined
The median bonus gender pay gap is 66.67% - The mean bonus gender pay gap is 18.28%.
Number of recipient
% of males and females who received a bonus
The officer bonus median pay gap is 0%.
The staff honoraria median pay gap is 40%.
Summary and key activities
Bedfordshire continues with the work already established to achieve a diverse workforce but recognises that there is always more that can be done. Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy sets out the Force vision and objectives going forward and we have a dedicated team supporting this across our workforce. It is our intention to continue our ongoing dialogue to better understand and overcome our barriers and to achieve an equal and representative work force at all levels. Future activity that we will be focusing on in the forthcoming years in relation to better representation and fair pay activity include:
To continue understanding reasons for under-representation in certain units and how we can encourage and support more female officers in this teams. Particular areas continue to include: Local Policing, Incident Response, the Dog and Firearms units. Female representation in these areas is a national issue and work continues to support an increase.
To pilot a development programme specifically aimed at females in under-represented groups in both officer and staff roles from across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire forces. This scheme will launch in the first quarter of 2022/23.
There is the continued recruitment focus on attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce including providing support to those applicants who are under-represented. We have seen an increase in female applications by 15% for the PEQF entry routes and a significant increase for the accelerated detective entry route.
Through better data collection we will also understand the composition of gender pay in relation to ethnicity and the nine protected characteristics.
Work continues to champion female development and progression including activity co-ordinated through the women’s tri-force network including an annual conference in March each year to mark International Women’s Day.