Closing the Gender Gap:

Unified pay framework closes the salary gap

gender parity
Company name:
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Public sector & Not-for-profit
Europe & Central Asia
United Kingdom
Contact Name:
Helen Abbott
Contact Position:
Head of Personnel, Pay & Pensions
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: ...between male and female salaries

In the UK university sector in 2004, women earned on average £30,500 per annum - more than £5,000 per annum less than the average for men, constituting a pay gap of 14%.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Leadership & company commitment

A large scale Pay Framework exercise was undertaken by the School in 2006, to assimilate the majority of staff onto a unified grading structure underpinned by analytical job evaluation and based on a single pay spine. The purpose was to ensure that equal pay for work of equal value was adhered to within the School.

The opportunity was also taken to harmonise conditions such as annual leave, sick pay and working hours.


An Equal Pay Audit was carried out on 2008 data, two years after the after the new grading structure had been introduced. The aim was to test the extent to which the Pay Framework Exercise had resulted in pay gaps of less than 5%, and to identify the reasons for any gaps above that benchmark

Implementation Date:

Equal Pay Audit is an ongoing process, the next to be carried out using 2011 data. This will identify the current position, note any adverse/positive changes in the intervening period and highlight any further interventions required.

The Success:

The intervention had proved extremely successful. Only one staff group was identified with a pay gap greater than 5%. This gap could be attributed to staff on salary protection (red-circling) and students on placement who are with the School for one year only, and thus never achieve incremental progression.

Success factors:

  1. Only one staff group out of a total of 12 covered by the Exercise had a pay gap higher than 5%.
  2. The gap was explored and could be explained through protected salaries and one year student placements
  3. The job evaluation scheme was demonstrated to be working within the School and delivering equal pay for work of equal value


  1. Time and resources required to introduce the structure and conduct job evaluations for 673 staff
  2. Ensuring that staff fill out the necessary paperwork accurately and on time
  3. Defending a job evaluation scheme that, despite delivering on equal pay, is often seen as bureaucratic, irrelevant and unnecessary


Monitoring|Process Design|Reporting & Accountability|Rewards
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United Kingdom

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