The gender pay gap between men and women employed by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has grown.

The mean average pay gap between men and women was seven per cent in 2017, and that has now gone up to 10.38 per cent. That’s been caused by a drop in the average hourly pay for women.

The average hourly pay rate for all staff went up by 2.69 per cent from £14.81 to £15.22 – but women’s average hourly pay actually went down by 0.35 per cent from £13.94 to £13.89 while men’s outstripped the overall increase, growing by 3.29 per cent form £14.99 to £15.50.

The difference in the median pay gap - the statistical ‘middle’ of all the service’s staff has gone down from 11.86 per cent in 2017 to 7.11 per cent last year.

A report to be made to the fire authority – the body of councillors who make political decisions for the fire service – says: “This data indicates that whilst the number of women working for the service has increased, predominantly in corporate roles, they are still in the lower and low mid quartile, whilst male employees dominate the upper mid and upper quartiles.

"Similarly, the median figure has fallen from 11.9 per cent to 7.11 per cent due to more women occupying mid-quartile roles.”

The 7.5 mean gap for 2017 puts Wiltshire towards to lower end in comparison to many other fire brigades, and even the increase to 10.38 would see the county brigade below the mid-point of 33 other fire and rescue services.