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Equal Pay Review 2015

01 Feb 2016

The University's second Equal Pay Audit shows no significant pay gaps for staff in Grades 1-8 across gender, ethnicity and disability, and a narrowing of the overall pay gap in these grades since 2013

Last year, the University undertook its second Equal Pay Audit to compare the pay of individuals carrying out work of equal value and to identify any pay inequities arising because of gender, ethnicity or disability.

The first audit took place in 2013 and examined the pay of staff on Grades 1-8. Its scope was extended in 2015 to include staff at Grade 9, both non-clinical professorial staff and PSS staff.

A Working Group comprising representatives of the campus trades unions and the University examined the data collected and analyses of the data. It also considered any actions necessary in response to the results.

The audit was conducted in accordance with guidance recommended by both the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES).

This approach examines pay differences within grades based on three categories: gender, ethnicity and disability. As the audit seeks to establish whether pay is equal for work of equal value, its main focus is to examine pay differences within grades for these categories.

In accordance with JNCHES guidance, this means that where a pay differential is less than 3%, the University would consider no action is necessary. Where the difference is 3% or more, but less than 5%, the position would be regularly monitored and for pay gaps of 5% or more, it was recognised that immediate action would be needed to address the issue in order to seek to reduce the gap.


There are no significant pay gaps (5% or more) by gender, ethnicity or disability for staff on the University of Manchester pay scale at Grades 1 to 8.

There are three zones/pay brackets at Grade 9 level at which there are significant pay gaps for one of the three categories, which are set out below. While these pay gaps will be further analysed, it is recognised that the sample sizes for BME and women at these levels are small (five or less):

  • Ethnicity: Grade 9 Professorial Zone B (in favour of white staff)
  • Ethnicity: Grade 9[1] PSS £110,000 and over (in favour of white staff)
  • Gender: Grade 9 PSS £110,000 and over (in favour of men)

The audit also revealed four instances of pay gaps of between 3.00 and 4.99%, which are detailed in table 2 below.  In accordance with the JNCHES guidance, these gaps will be monitored regularly by the University.

  • Gender: Grade 9 Professorial Zone B (3.54% - in favour of male staff)
  • Ethnicity: Grade 9 PSS £72,500-£84,999* (-3.8% - in favour of white staff)
  • Ethnicity: Grade 9 Professorial Zone C (-3.38% - in favour of white staff)
  • Disability: Grade 6 (-3.19% - in favour of disabled staff)

The pay gap is between 0 and 2.99% for all other Grades/zones/pay brackets by gender, ethnicity and disability.

On behalf of the Review Group, its chair, Andrew Mullen, Deputy Director of HR, commented:

“The findings indicate that the University’s implementation and application of HERA and the associated pay structures provide a framework within which the University continues to provide equal pay for like work.  This means that it is continuing to meet its obligations in this area under the provisions of the Equality Act.

“The findings also suggest the University has developed and is maintaining a fair and equitable reward system and, in so doing, is supporting its equality objectives in a critical and measurable way.

“It is pleasing to see that out of a possible 54 grades and categories examined, there are 47 with such a small pay gap that there is no need for further attention at this stage. It is also reassuring to find there are no significant gaps for staff in Grades 1-8 across gender, ethnicity and disability and that the overall pay gap in Grades 1-8 has actually narrowed since the 2013 audit.”

The University is committed to undertaking equal pay reviews every two years and the next one will be in 2017.

A report submitted to the HR Sub-Committee comprising full details of the audit and its findings can be viewed at the following link:


[1] In order to provide an approximation of pay for work at equal value at Grade 9 for PSS staff, five “artificial” pay brackets were created for the purposes of the audit only.  These do not represent actual pay bands within Grade and so the findings have to be treated with a degree of caution.