Action on Pay Equality

A new 'task and finish group' has been set up by the University to help us plan actions over the next few years that will help ensure pay equality and reduce pay gaps.

On these pages you will find information on

  • The background to the group being set up
  • Who is on the group
  • What the group has been asked to do
  • How you can be involved


At his Town Hall meetings earlier this year, the VC confirmed the University's intention to take action on pay equality.  We know, for example from our most recent Equal Pay Review, that our pay systems and structures generally deliver equal pay - that is, broadly the same pay for jobs on the same grade.  However, we also know that despite this, some significant pay gaps exist, e.g. between average male and female pay, due to differences in the sorts of jobs people do at our University.  This is a common issue for many universities and across many sectors.

The working group has been set up to look into pay gaps here at Newcastle University and to identify ways in which we might reduce these.

Terms of Reference

After an initial discussion the group has established the following aims:

  1. To consider the outcomes of the University's pay gap report and any relevant related data/benchmarks.  This should involve consideration of key staff groups in order to understand the overall picture.
  2. To identify the nature of any inequality present at Newcastle University and the factors which contribute to this inequality.
  3.  To investigate available evidence from within and outside the sector, including good practice guidelines and case studies, to help inform our understanding of the issues and the effectiveness of potential actions.
  4. To consult widely on the issues to ensure that staff and their representatives have an opportunity to inform the debate and help shape future actions.
  5. To recommend a number of actions to UEB that will lead to a sustainable reduction in pay inequality within the next 5 years.  An interim report should be provided in October 2017.
  6. To consider the approach to the publication of the University's first pay gap report in line with new gender pay gap regulations.

 Latest Update

The group has agreed

  • That we need to look at pay gaps across the whole workforce, not just at senior levels.
  • That we will contact some institutions who appear to have low pay gaps to see what we might learn from them.
  • To focus, in the first instance, on two key processes - promotions and professorial pay review.  Many other factors impact on pay levels but we need to address the issues in practical, manageable chunks.
  • That we want to recommend sustainable improvements, not short-term fixes. 

 Group Membership 

Prof. Judith Rankin                 Professor of Prof Maternal & Perinatal Epidemiology, and Dean of Diversity.

Prof. Karen Ross                     Professor of Gender & Media and Chair of the NU Women Professors’ Network.

Prof. Chris Phillips                  Professor of Computer Science Education and SAgE Director of Diversity.

Judith Whitaker                      Executive Director of Human Resources

Richard Boggie                        Assistant Director of Human Resources

Leslie Platt                               HR Adviser (Equality and Diversity)

Carolyn Laws                           Internal Communications Manager

How to get involved

In line with our aims, we are keen to receive input, ideas and comments from anyone who can contribute to progressing this work.  Please email us if you wish to contribute:

Please note, we can't promise an individual response, but input will be collated for consideration by the task & finish group. 






published on: 19th July 2017