Foreword from the National Statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond

I am pleased to publish our gender pay gap report for 2021. At the UK Statistics Authority, our mission is to provide high quality data and analysis to inform the UK and improve lives. Our response to the challenges of the pandemic and the 2021 Census has seen us be radical and ambitious, rapidly and constantly adapting to meet the changing landscape. Our people have been with us every step of the way, responding positively to new ways of working alongside the personal impacts of the pandemic.

A commitment to inclusion and diversity is at the heart of our organisational strategy and we have continued to make positive progress over the last year to deliver on our ambitions. Against a challenging external landscape, we have invested in the development of our people, supported those who have had to balance additional caring commitments alongside their work and increased the representation of women in senior leadership positions within the organisation.

Publishing our gender pay gap report, and implementing the corresponding actions are an important element of our work on inclusivity. Our analysis from this publication indicates that, disappointingly, we have seen some increases in our gender pay and bonus gaps this year. However, it has also revealed how these have occurred, enabling us to take targeted action to address. We have improved but still have further to go to address under-representation of women at senior levels and we believe the unprecedented circumstances of the last year have had a one-off impact on our bonus awards. We have already and will continue to take steps to tackle the impact, acknowledging that the world of work continues to adapt, impacting people’s lives in different ways.

Our report this year also reflects a temporary increase in our workforce for the delivery of the 2021 Census. To aid understanding, we have reported two sets of pay and bonus gap information, both to reflect this temporary increase but also to enable comparison with our pay and bonus gaps in previous years.

We have engaged our people to improve our understanding of pay gaps, as well as extending our analysis internally to include other characteristics. By working in collaboration with our colleagues, we continue to develop our understanding of pay gaps across different groups so that we can identify and tackle inequality for all our colleagues. Our action plan identifies additional steps to further improve data accuracy to enable the publication of pay gaps for a wider set of characteristics. We want our practices to speak to the experiences of everyone in our society so that everyone counts and is counted, and no one is excluded.

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Who are the UK Statistics Authority and Office for National Statistics?

The UK Statistics Authority (the Authority) is an independent body at arm’s length from government. We have a statutory objective of promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of official statistics that ‘serve the public good’.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the Authority and is the largest producer of official statistics in the UK. A large majority of the Authority’s staff work in the ONS.

During 2021, the ONS has employed an additional 20,000 temporary field workers to deliver Census 2021, which has impacted legislative pay gaps, therefore this report is split into two parts:

  1. Core UK Statistics Authority pay gap reporting, which excludes temporary census field workforce. This enables more accurate comparison across years and is the focus of discussion and action plans
  2. Legislative pay gap reporting, which includes temporary census field workforce
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What is a Gender Pay Gap?

The Gender Pay Gap is the difference in average pay between all men and women in an organisation. It is expressed as a difference in percentage (%) between men and women.

What is Equal Pay?

This is about a man and woman receiving equal pay for the same or similar job.

Mean Pay Gap

The mean pay gap is the difference in the arithmetic average hourly pay for women compared to men, within an organisation.

Median Pay Gap

The median represents the middle point of a population. If you lined up all the women in an organisation and all the men in order of the hourly rate at which they are paid, the median pay gap is the difference between the hourly rate for the middle woman compared to that of the middle man.

The median is generally considered to be the better indicator of ‘average’ earnings because the mean can be skewed by fewer individuals earning more in the upper ranges. The median therefore gives a better indication of typical pay than the mean.

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