A new study has shown that female employees are much more likely to receive less than their male counterparts with the gender pay gap resulting in a female earning £300,000 less in a lifetime.
The study, which came from a recruitment company, Robert Half, was released before International Women’s Day and showed a gap of £5,732, or 24%, in average full-time annual salaries between women and men. The study was conducted more than four decades after the Equal Pay Act of 1970 was introduced leading to significant criticism and calls to end the gender pay gap once and for all.
The study found that over a career of 52 years, female employees would earn £298,064 less than male employees doing the same or similar job.
The analysis carried out by the recruitment company stated that the pay gap in the UK was around 24%, however, according to the Office of National Statistics, the difference in salaries is around 9%. However, according to Robert Half, the reason for the difference is the fact that the ONS compares hourly rates while their study analysed annual earnings.
Analysis by Robert Half highlighted faster growth for men’s full-time salaries at a rate of 1.6% compared with 1.4% for women in the year to April 2015, based on earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This took the median gross pay of full-time male employees to £29,934, compared with £24,202 for women.
Fawcett Society’s chief executive Sam Smethers said: “The gender pay gap becomes a significant lifetime pay penalty. The gap widens for older women and becomes a significant pensions gap in retirement.
The impact of having children means that as men’s careers take off, women’s often stagnate or decline.
“Their salaries never fully recover. We have to make it easier for men to share care, create flexibility first at work and open up more senior roles as quality part-time jobs.”
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Far more must be done to tackle the UK’s gender pay gap. We need more quality part-time jobs, better-paid fathers’ leave and more free childcare from the end of maternity leave to help mothers get back to work after having children.”
A government spokesman said: “This government has gone further than ever before in tackling the gender pay gap. Only last month we unveiled a raft of measures requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap and we are extending that duty across the public sector.
“We are making progress with business towards the elimination of the gender pay gap. There will always be more to do, but we expect that progress to continue as we continue towards a truly equal workforce in all sectors.”
While there has been some negativity around the way that the government are tackling gender inequality, the recently published women in work table showed that the UK had moved up in the table, but remained in the lower half, in 16th place.
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