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Gender pay gap for full-time workers widens

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The UK’s gender pay gap for full-time employees has widened slightly in the past year, official figures show.

It now stands at 8.9 per cent, up from 8.6 per cent in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The gap between what the average male and average female full-time employee earns has only narrowed by 0.6 percentage points since 2012.

However, for full-time workers under 40, the gender pay gap is now close to zero.

Among all workers – both full-time and part-time – the gap has fallen from 17.8 per cent in 2018 to 17.3 per cent in 2019.

The pay gap is higher for all employees than for full-time employees and part-time employees because women fill more part-time jobs, which have lower hourly median pay than full-time jobs, and are more likely to be in lower-paid occupations.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “Progress to close the gender pay gap is dismally slow and at this rate it will take 60 years to eradicate it.

“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.

“It’s time to speed up the pace of change and shift the balance of power.  We need gender pay gap reporting by ethnicity, medium-sized employers included in reporting requirements and a requirement to publish action plans. Employers have to be held to account.”

Maike Currie, investment director for Fidelity International, said: “The gender pay gap still stands at a stark 17.3 per cent. This will be a bitter pill to swallow, as fact that women still earn almost a fifth less than men, means from later in November up until the end of the year, we’re effectively working for free.”

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