It is still a hot debate – does the gender pay gap exist? Despite the Equality Act 2010 many women are severely disadvantaged – working the same jobs and yet are paid less than their male counterparts. It’s a complex situation with statistics saying different things; some show that women are being paid less with little to no change in the gender pay over the years compared to males working the same job while some show that they are paid the same.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings. For example, a 4.0% gender pay gap denotes that women earn 4.0% less per hour, on average, than men. Conversely, a negative 4.0% gender pay gap denotes that women earn 4.0% more, on average, then men.
The gender pay gap fell from 2017 to 2018, to stand at 8.6% among full-time employees. The gap among all employees is higher (17.9%), driven by more women working in part-time jobs, which are lower paid (an average hourly rate is £9.36 compared with £14.31, excluding overtime, for full-time jobs).
The difference in pay
Whilst both the gender gap and equal pay deal with the difference in pay women receive in the workplace, they are two different issues:
This means that men and women in the same job doing equal work must receive equal pay, as stated in the Equality Act 2010.
Gender pay gap
This is a measure of the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across an organisation or the overall labour market. It is stated as a percentage of men’s earnings.
In the UK, there is an overall gender pay gap of 18.1%.
Research has shown that there are underlying factors which contribute to why women earn less these include;
- There are inherent differences between a man and woman’s labour. Some women are mothers, and as such work fewer hours due to childcare and as a result take up less demanding jobs or jobs with flexible hours. These jobs generally tend to pay less than the more demanding job.
- Age difference: According to the ONS, the gender pay gap for full time employment between the ages of 18-39 was found to be close to zero but became more apparent from the age of 40 upwards.
- There are different levels of educational attainment by men and women which later cause a ripple effect into other elements of their life, such as workplace pay.
Causes of the gender pay gap
The causes of the gender pay gap are complex and interwoven.Factors include:
Highest paid sectors are male-dominated
Whilst girls often do well at school, they have a tendency to end up concentrated in employment sectors that offer narrower scope for financial reward. Conversely, many of the highest paying sectors are disproportionately made up of male employees.
The Part-time work effect
Women often have a difference in years of experience of full-time work, or the negative effect on wages of having previously worked part-time, or of having taken time out of the labour market to raise children or care for a family.
Unconscious stereotyping, creates assumptions about women not wanting to accept promotion, or not being in a position to do so, especially where they have caring responsibilities. Whilst women account for 47% of the workforce, but only 35% of managers, directors and senior officials.
According to the World Economic Forum, it will take about 202 years before equal pay is achieved in all workplaces based on the current rate of progress.
If you think that male collegaues are being paid more than you for the same job then our no win no fee Employment Law Solicitors can assist with all types of claims. Naturally, we pride ourselves on providing the best possible service to the highest standards, we offer free employment law advice on all problems. Call us on 08007566605 or02039234777
Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.