The gender pay gap across Tayside and Fife has been laid bare with the majority of companies showing a disparity between the wages for men and women.
The worst offender in the region is Perth-based SSE with a pay gap of 34.2%, while both Bosch UK and Velux in Glenrothes have reported a 32% difference in figures sent to the UK Government.
Former cabinet secretary for fair work, SNP MSP Roseanna Cunningham, slammed companies reporting a gender pay gap as “not acceptable” though she said she was “not surprised” by the figures.
The local authority of Perth and Kinross were the worst in Tayside in terms of pay disparity with 75% of companies reporting a pay gap – an 8.3% increase on last year.
Both Fife and Dundee reported a drop in the number of companies showing a gender pay disparity, with the former down 2.1% to 60% and the latter improving by 27.3% to 45.5%.
The picture is slightly better in Angus where 33.3% of companies reported a gender pay disparity, a 33.3% improvement from the year before.
The worst performing company in Angus, Don & Low Limited, also only showed a pay gap of 7.9% between men and women – much lower than Dundee’s worst performer Thorntons Law LLP at 29%, and major employers elsewhere in the region.
A spokesperson for SSE said: “Since 2017, SSE has been working very closely with inclusion specialists Equal Approach to design and implement an approach which will not only help to close its gender pay gap, but which will make SSE a more inclusive organisation overall too.
“Whilst short-term increases in SSE’s mean or median gender pay gaps is disappointing, they are not unexpected and are instead part of a meaningful action plan to generate real change in the organisation and can be due to a number of factors.”
Markus Folmann, HR director for Bosch UK and Ireland, insisted men and women are being paid the same money for the same work but added the figures indicated there are more men in senior, well-paid positions.
Mr Folmann added: “Bosch acknowledges its responsibility to make progression possible at this time by supporting our female associates, allowing them flexibility to balance their career with their other commitments, and to encourage them to apply for roles that they may pass by.
“We have made improvements in our parental leave policies, staffing processes and flexible working policies.”
Craig Nicol, managing partner of Thorntons, said: “We have worked hard to make the firm a genuinely sector-leading, progressive employer and have harmonised terms and conditions where possible, whilst still being mindful of market forces.
“As the improvement from last year’s figures show, steps forward have already been taken towards addressing our gender pay gap. We’re not quite there yet, but we remain committed to completing our journey.”
Don & Low said there was nobody available to give comment on the statistics.
Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “I am very disappointed, but not surprised, to see that 75% of companies in Perth and Kinross report a pay gap.
“All companies will need to address that and I would hope, in particular, to see bosses at SSE – a leading local employer, whose pay gap is the largest in the area – acknowledge that the 34.2% gap within their workforce is not acceptable and that they will show a determination to significantly reduce that gap within a fixed time frame.”