Pay gap between men and women widens after years of progress
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Finance
Gender pay gap narrows by 1% 'but still long way to go'
The average gap in pay between men and women has widened, the latest annual survey of hourly earnings has revealed.
The Office Of National Statistics' figures show a sudden decrease in parity after years of slow but steady progress towards equal pay.
Comparing mean hourly earnings (excluding overtime), the figures show that the gender pay gap has grown from 14.8% last year to 15.7% this year.
In April this year, the median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were £517, up 2.2% from £506 in 2012.
Charlie Woodworth of the Fawcett Society said: “The gap in pay between women and men is a key measure of economic inequality between the sexes. News that the gap has begun to widen, after years of slow but steady progress, is a damming indictment of the government’s record when it comes to women’s standing in the economy.
“Women’s incomes are being squeezed on all sides – cuts to benefits are hitting them hardest, cuts to the public sector workforce are affecting them disproportionately, and we now know they face a widening gender pay gap.
Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC trade union group, said: "Years of a slow, steady progress on closing the gender pay gap has gone into reverse.
"Ministers should be ashamed of presiding over this latest dismal record on pay.
"It is not right that in Britain today women still earn 15% less per hour than men, a pay gap that costs full-time women over £5,000 a year."