Men working at Southend Hospital are benefitting from significantly higher salaries and bonus payments than their female colleagues.

Figures from Southend University Hospital Trust show that there is an 18 per cent difference in the pay that middle-ranking male employees receive over middle-ranking female employees.

That figure is an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year and one the trust labelled in their Gender Pay Gap report as “expected”.

The trust says the widening gap is due to the proportion of men earning higher salaries within the trust having increased, while the number of women earning those salaries remained static.

The high number of male employees earning the top salaries has had a knock-on effect on bonus payments, with the report revealing that male staff receive 79 per cent of all bonus payments within the trust.

Figures also show that, in the majority of positions, men are earning higher average salaries than women.

One example is in the administration and clerical sector  where 158 male employees are earning an average hourly rate of £18.50, while 878 female employees are earning an average of £11.90.

Yvonne Blücher, Managing Director at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our data does show a gender pay gap, which is as expected for the NHS, and is due to a higher ratio of male employees in the top 25 per cent of pay bands, including the medical and dental professions.

“The report helps us to start conversations around gender pay issues and make sure we have actions in place to address any areas of concern in line with our equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.”

It is the second year that the trust has been required to publish these figures under Government rules introduced in 2017 which require organisations with 250 employees or more to publish data on their pay gap.

A Gender Pay Gap relates to the difference between the average earnings of the men and women an organisation employs. It is a different issue to unequal pay which is when women are paid less than men for the same work.