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Is The Gender Pay Gap Here to Stay?

By Practice Group Leader, Employment

Provisional results from the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016 show that the gender pay gap continues to remain at around 10 per cent for women working in full time positions.

Figure 8: Gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for full-time employees at selected deciles, UK, April 1997 to 2016

Provisional results from the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016 show that the gender pay gap continues to remain at around 10 per cent for women working in full time positions.

Figure 14: Median full-time gross weekly earnings by sex and age group, UK, April 2016

As some papers have reported, the gender pay gap increases for female workers significantly when they enter their thirties and beyond (though according to the guardian it is still five per cent for those in their twenties).

The increase in the gender pay gap as women reach popular childbearing age is more drastic if you were to look at the average earnings of all employees in the UK.

Figure 15: Gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) by age group, UK, April 2016

 

The increase in the gender pay gap as women reach childbearing age is, in part, because part-time jobs tend to be less well paid than full time positions and women account for a larger proportion of people employed in part-time jobs.

Figure 7: Gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) and percentage of males, by number of basic paid hours worked, UK, April 2016

With more women in these lower paid part time jobs than men, it decreases the overall average pay of women and makes the gender pay gap increase when you look at it for all workers.

Pay discrimination is unlawful. This means that women should not be rewarded less than men at work if they have the same job or complete work which would be rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation, or even work which is different but of equal value in terms of demand.

Salary is not the only form in which women experience pay discrimination. We should also receive equal bonus payments and benefits to our comparable male colleagues. If you suffer a form of pay discrimination you can make a claim for equal pay.

The gender pay gap is not new. Differences in pay between genders have always existed, so it seems that only a shift in cultural attitudes can fully address this problem. Greater flexibility in working arrangements, men taking on more childcare and caring responsibilities will help. As would businesses taking responsibility for removing the glass ceiling and behaving equitably, together with transparency on pay differentials.

For more information read our Equal Pay Legal Advice Guide.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are experts on gender discrimination, we have conducted pay dispute cases which have changed the law and delivered compensation to many employees who experienced pay discrimination at work.

Sarah Evans is an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

All graphs are taken from the ONS Annual Survey of hours and Earnings: 2016 provisional results.

Equal Pay, Equal Pay Claims, Equal Pay Disputes, Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay

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