The Jersey Gender Pay Gap Review Panel’s follow-up review has found that little to no progress has been made to close the gender pay gap since 2019, when it published its first report.
The Panel’s follow-up review found that the Government’s median average gender pay gap has increased from 18.3% in 2019 to 24.3% in 2020 and, 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 Government has committed to closing the public sector gender pay gap and the Panel welcomes its ambition to be a forward-thinking organisation through its People Strategy and its Flex Positive initiative, which aims to create a flexible working environment. However, it is of the view that the Government did not use a gender sensitive approach to its policies in response to the pandemic, which disproportionately impacted women in the home and workplace and has exacerbated the gender pay gap.
To make progress on closing the gender pay gap, the Panel has made several recommendations in its follow-up review, including that the Government should:
- 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 (pictured), 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.”