By Sean Weston.
That’s according to equality charity The Fawcett Society, who have been working with the Office for National Statistics.
The gender pay gap for full-time workers rose to 8.9%, up from 8.6% from the previous year.
Women over 40 are more likely to work in lower-paid occupations and, compared with younger women, are less likely to work as managers, directors or senior officials, the ONS said.
Sam Smethers, the Fawcett Society’s chief executive commented on the new statistics:
“The pay gap represents a productivity gap and a waste of women’s skills and potential. Too many women are trapped in low paid part-time work or locked out of non-traditional sectors while others experience pay or pregnancy discrimination.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said it would take “decades” to close the gender pay gap at the current rate.
“Government must pick up the pace. It’s clear that publishing gender pay gaps aren’t enough on its own,” she said.
“Companies must also be legally required to explain how they’ll close them.”
These statistics contrast the outlining of the Equality Act 2010, which implies a sex equality clause automatically into all contracts of employment, ensuring that a woman’s contractual terms are no less favourable than a man’s.
Some of the ‘equality of terms’ in the Act cover:
– Basic pay.
– Non-discretionary bonuses.
– Overtime rates and allowances.
– Performance-related benefits.
– Hours of work.
– Company cars.
– Sick pay.
The definition of equal work is also outlined by the Act:
– Like work – this is where the works involve similar tasks which require similar skills, and any differences in the work are not of practical importance
– Work rated as equivalent – this is where the work has been rated under a fair job evaluation scheme as being of equal value in terms of how demanding it is
– Work of equal value – this is work which is not similar and has not been rated as equivalent but is of equal value in terms of demands such as effort, skill and decision-making.
– The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) called for “more action to ensure women of all ages receive fair and equal pay at every level”.
Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the BCC, said: “Employers must identify and remove all barriers to training and career development opportunities to support women into senior-level positions and enable parents and carers to thrive in skilled roles.”
This information also comes off the back of February’s report of four in 10 private companies publishing a wider pay gap between their employees.
Of the companies that disclosed this information in February:
– 74% report a pay gap which favours men.
– 14% have a pay gap favouring women.
– 12% report no pay gap.
The Government Equalities Office issued a statement that said:
“Closing the gender pay gap is not a quick fix, and employers may take time to see their gap close as they implement long term action plans.”
Gender pay gap in the UK: 2019