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Female Employees Earn £300,000 Less in Working Lifetime

A new study analysing the gender pay gap has found that in a career, female workers are likely to earn £300,000 less than their male counterparts, with a study finding a difference of £5,732, or 24%, in the average annual salaries in the UK.

The findings from the report have led to an increase in calls to end the gender pay gap more than four decades after the Equal Pay Act was introduced.

The analysis, which was carried out by recruitment company Robert Half, found that in a career spanning 52 years women would earn, in a lifetime, an earnings shortfall of £298,064 in comparison to men. The report also highlighted faster growth for men’s full-time salaries 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), stating that the projection of just under £300,000 could quickly change if the trend continued.

The study found that the gross pay for full-time male employees to £29,934, compared with £24,202 for women.

Many experts stated that the report from the recruitment agency was proof that females were punished for taking paid leave or maternity leave and called for more to be done to tackle such inequality.

The Fawcett Society, a women’s rights organisation, released a statement saying: “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.”

Difference in Gender Pay Gap

While the ONS current has the gender pay gap at just over 9%, the study from Robert Half puts the gap at a significantly higher rate of 24%.

The reasons for the difference in the values is because the ONS compares median hourly earnings, rather than annual earnings. The ONS figures also exclude overtime as men are more likely to take overtime, which can then skew results. While the gender gap from the ONS has decreased by a mere 0.2%, the group has accepted that the gender pay gap has changed by very little in the past few years.

Commenting on the potential £300,000 lifetime gap highlighted in Monday’s analysis, the 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.”

David Cameron has vowed to introduce more legislation to tackle gender inequality, such as the policy which forcing every company that employs more than 250 people to publish the pay differences, along with the introduction of shared parental leave.

Despite the efforts, this year, the UK dropped from 17th to 18th in the PwC table regarding equal pay, although it did rise in their overall table.

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Sadly, despite many efforts to eradicate the gender pay gap, it is still prominent in UK society. If you have been discriminated against due to your gender in the workplace, overlooked for a promotion or if you believe you are underpaid, our team of employment specialists can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. To find out how we can help you get the damages and closure you deserve, contact our team today using our online contact form.

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