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Posted by on in Gender Discrimination
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Gender Pay Gap Still Major Factor in the UK

A recent study has revealed that the gender pay gap has barely changed in the last four years despite many initiatives to try and reduce the pay gap.

The data which comes from HMRC showed that women made up less than a quarter, 27%, of all higher-rate taxpayers in each of the past four financial years. Last year, this meant women made up 1.21m of the 4.47m higher-rate taxpayers despite a rise of at least one million high-end taxpayers in the same period.

The survey is a blow to the government and organisations who have launched policies to try and reduce inequality in the workplace and obtain equal pay for women. Some banks have aimed to make their senior management team consist of at least 40% females following a study that showed that less than a third of the senior staff in the industry were female with HSBC adding that females were “significantly underrepresented at a senior management level.”

The Government have also launched a number of new plans to try and reduce gender inequality. It was announced in the summer that organisations with 250 employees or more were to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees. These rules were to apply to all sectors and were also to include bonuses and other payments to all members of staff.

Gender Pay Gap in UK Employment Sector

In total, the figures in the last four years showed that the gender pay gap for full-time workers has fallen by 0.2% to 9.4%, the lowest since 1997. The Office for National Statistics reported that the gap for full and part-time employees remained unchanged at 19.2% in comparison to the previous year.  Based on the current movement in the pay gap it would take 50 years for females to earn the same as men according to TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady. She said: "Progress on closing the full-time gender pay gap has slowed dramatically over the last few years. If it continues to fall at this pace, we're looking at nearly half a century before we have pay parity between women and men.

"Women need a labour market that doesn't discriminate against them. Stronger action is still needed. While bringing in mandatory pay gap reporting is a welcome step, it must not be delayed.

However, while the results of the latest study were widely criticised, experts warned that merely reporting the figures would not reduce the gender inequality seen in the UK. Others were also critical of the government proposals to “name and shame” organisations stating that this would not close the gender pay gap but rather aspects of society such as maternity leave would need to be improved. Charles Urquhart an employment solicitor who worked on the report said: “For gender pay reporting to be valuable, a like-for-like comparison across all levels within an organisation, from the CEO to unskilled levels of employee, would be needed."

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