Our commitment to reduce ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation-based pay gaps

Whilst we are committed to improving representation across our organisation in terms of protected characteristics, staff turnover is low, and we realise therefore that this is a longer-term commitment. This report continues to show us the scale of unknown data, so we will continue to seek to obtain more accurate reporting. As such we are committed to:

  • improving our disclosure rates in terms of disability, ethnicity, and sexual orientation by halving the amount of unknown data in respect of each characteristic before the 31 of March 2022. 

Whilst the number of disclosures of disability may be attributed to the organisation's acceptance of its culture towards disability, as an organisation with a primary point of entry we need to consider the role age-related disability in these statistics. As such we are committed to: 

  • understanding the nature of disability in our organisation so that we may support our employees better  

We cannot be complacent regarding the representation of people from ethnic minorities within the workforce, as this remains significantly lower than the representation within our customer base. We are committed to: 

  • achieving a better understanding in terms of customer perception of different ethnic groups in relation to employment with us and applying this to our attraction and recruitment approach. 

Although the gaps are small, they do need to be monitored carefully. Like the Gender Pay Report, we remained focussed on the attraction and retention of people with a disability from a minority ethnic background and/or those who may identify as LGBT. Over the past 12 months Covid-19 has limited our ability to engage in traditional ways, so it is now our intention to: 

  • continue our work to be open, accepting and promoting LGBT identities measuring our activity through our Stonewall submission (October 2021) and our work with Porchlights Pride in Care Chartermark. 
  • benchmark our organisation against the Business Disability Standard.
  • become a more attractive employer to people with a disability by attracting a disability confident employer status and signing up to the Disability Charter.
  • be explicit in our desire to encourage people from a minority ethnic background to work for us through our social media and marketing opportunities and affiliation with the Asian Fire Service Association and Blueprint for All. 

We strive to be a good place to work. Through our revised branding and continued commitment to a structured inclusive recruitment strategy incorporating planned positive action activities, we will look to continue to improve the diversity within our workforce. 

In closing, as mentioned in the forward by the Chair of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority at the beginning of this report, we value pay gap reporting. Equal Access to our services and our employment are of paramount importance to us. This means we will continue to focus on the promotion and education of society with regards to the role of a firefighter, provide greater accountability and adopt proactive approaches to inclusion.