Women paid less than men at police force covering Milton Keynes

Thames Valley Police pays its men 10 per cent more than women, and the force says it will take years to put it right.

The force, which covers Milton Keynes, has found an even bigger gap – nearly 45 per cent – when it comes to bonuses for its officers and support staff.

Generic police image

Generic police image

The difference has been highlighted in the force’s second annual report into gender pay, published on March 19.

Francis Habgood, the outgoing chief constable of Thames Valley Police, said the force is “passionate about fairness and dedicated to demonstrating our values: transparency, integrity, public service and impartiality.”

He adds that the gap isn’t because of any difference in the pay men and women receive for the same job, but because there are more men in senior positions. There are also more men in jobs that receive bonus payments, such as firearms officers.

But Mr Habgood adds that one year on there is still no quick fix and that “making a positive change to our gender pay gap will take time.”

When the force started to analyse its workforce pay last March, they had 4,171 men (55.6 per cent) and 3,333 women (44.4 per cent) in the organisation.

Under a different statistical method, by examining the median pay, the difference in hourly rates of pay is even greater, with the gender pay gap hitting 17.9 per cent.

The report concludes: “Thames Valley Police are committed to working towards taking action to understand and close the gender pay gap by supporting and encouraging flexible, creative and innovative ways to attract, develop and retain women.

However, realistically it may be several years before any initiatives taken will have an impact on reducing the gap significantly.”