Corporate report

Acas gender pay gap report 2021


Gender representation in Acas

The figures show:

  • 59% of our workforce are women
  • 17% of our senior civil servants are women

Acas gender pay gap

The figures show:

  • our 'mean' (average) hourly pay gap is 7.3%
  • our 'median' hourly pay gap is 1.1%

In the financial year 2020 to 2021, overall headcount increased from 957 to 1,058, an increase of 11%. The majority of recruitment was in our lower grades (grades 9 and 10), and in this intake, we recruited an increased proportion of men. Although this data does not differentiate between London and non-London based staff at these grades, there is a tendency for men to earn more at grade 9 than women.

The above changes in the demographic of our workforce mean that we have seen some fluctuation in 2020 to 2021 gender pay gap figures. These show a mean pay gap of 7.3% in favour of men (2019 to 2020 6.8%), and 1.1% pay gap in favour of men (2019 to 2020 12.2%) in the median calculation, which is significantly lower.

Acas gender bonus gap

The figures show:

  • 23.4% of women were awarded a bonus
  • 26.7% of men were awarded a bonus
  • the mean bonus pay gap is 17.7%
  • the median bonus pay gap is 11.1%

If we remove senior civil servants from the dataset, the mean pay gap reduces to 6.2% and the median bonus gap to 10.4%.

Pay by quartile

The table below shows hourly pay, by quartile for Acas. It shows that there is a higher proportion of women in all quartiles except the upper pay quartile, compared to men.

Proportion of male and female employees in each quartile


Quartile Female Male
Lower quartile 60.2% 39.8%
Lower middle quartile


Upper middle quartile 64% 36%
Upper quartile 49% 51%

Steps we are taking to address our gender pay gap

Acas senior leadership team are committed to fair pay irrespective of gender.

We will continue to build on actions and initiatives aimed at eradicating the gender pay gap, including:

  • adopting a flexibility by default principle by moving to a hybrid working model, allowing many colleagues to work from home or other suitable locations more frequently in the future
  • support for women returning to work through shared parental leave, job sharing, compressed hours, part-time, remote working (including working from home) and term-time only opportunities – plus, encouraging men to also take advantage of flexible working arrangements
  • continuing to monitor pay to identify pay differences and take targeted action where appropriate, within Civil Service pay controls
  • taking a more proactive approach towards monitoring our bonus pay in the future, this includes reviewing our recognition programme and making sure full Management Information (MI) data is collected to ensure fairness of recognition awards across all grades and gender
  • continuing our approach to anonymise the job application process to reduce the potential for bias and making sure that all panel members have undergone recruitment training which includes ensuring diversity and success profiles
  • aiming to have a 'diverse by default' approach towards recruitment, for example, by having recruitment panels which are diverse in terms of gender and ethnicity 
  • helping women progress in their careers through a clear conversation approach towards performance management, which encourages line managers to have an open ongoing dialogue with staff on career development and progression

About mean and median

Mean (average) gender pay gap

  • The mean hourly rate is the average hourly wage across the entire organisation.
  • The mean gender pay gap measures the difference between the women’s mean hourly wage and the men’s mean hourly wage.

Median gender pay gap

  • The median hourly rate is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid, and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle.
  • The median gender pay gap is the difference between the women’s median hourly wage (the middle paid woman) and the men’s median hourly wage (the middle paid man).