Today (26 Oct), the Office for National Statistics published its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) bulletin for 2017, which includes analysis of the Gender Pay Gap.

Roger Smith, Office for National Statistics Earnings Branch, said:

Median earnings for full-time employees in the UK were £550 in April 2017. This year saw the joint highest rise since the economic downturn in 2008, in cash terms. However, higher inflation meant real earnings were down overall on the year for the first time since 2014. This wasn’t the case for everyone, though – the lowest paid 10% of workers and those in some regions like the East Midlands still saw real increases while other areas saw decreases.

The gender pay gap fell to 9.1% among full-timers, the lowest since the present survey began in 1997.

The gender pay gap for full-time employees has decreased from 9.4 per cent to 9.1 per cent – the lowest since the survey began in 1997.

While this is an important step in eliminating the gender pay gap, the report also noted that the gap – when taking into account full- and part-time employees – has increased by 0.2 per cent on 2016 figures.

This slight increase shows that there is still much work to be done, and this is why it is important that the government continues with its plans to require all employers with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay and gender bonus pay gaps for the first time ever by April next year.

The government is also working with business to have 33 per cent of women on boards by 2020 and eliminate all-male boards in the FTSE 350.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The full-time gender pay gap has inched a bit smaller. But there is still a chasm between men and women’s earnings.

“At this rate it'll take decades for women to get paid the same as men.

“The government needs to crank up the pressure on employers. Companies shouldn't just be made to publish their gender pay gaps. They should be forced to explain how they’ll close them.

"And those bosses who flout the law should be fined."

justine greening 100x100Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening said:

Eliminating the gender pay gap is key to building a stronger economy where everyone plays by the same rules. It is simply good business sense to recognise the enormous potential of women and to take action to nurture and progress female talent.

That is why we have introduced a legal requirement for all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data by April 2018. Some of our most well-known companies have already reported their pay gap including Virgin Money, TSB, Fujitsu and Weetabix. I’m now calling on employers across the country to get on with publishing their gender pay gap. They have until 31st March to do so. By shining a light on where there are gaps, employers can take action and make sure that we are harnessing the talents and skills of men and women‎.

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