Gender pay gap in Civil Service highest of all sectors

The Civil Service gender pay gap outstrips that of the economy as a whole, official figures have revealed.

Research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found median salaries in Whitehall for full-time male employees were 14% higher than those of female staff in 2008, while the median gender pay gap in the economy overall was 12.8% for full-time hourly pay.

When civil servants’ grades are taken into account, the aggregate pay gap in the Civil Service drops to about 5% – suggesting fewer women occupy the higher positions within the service.

The findings come a week after the government published its long-awaited Equality Bill outlining powers to force public sector organisations with more than 150 employees to publish their pay gaps by 2013, if they have not already done so voluntarily.

A government spokesman told the Financial Times: “Since 1997, the number of women in the senior Civil Service has almost doubled and the gender pay gap (which is considerably less than in the private sector) continues to reduce. But there is much further to go, which is why the Equality Bill has tough new measures to require both public and private bodies to report on gender pay. ”

Last week, the Public and Commercial Services union brought an employment tribunal case alleging women at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) earned 21% – £5,000 – less than their male counterparts doing similar jobs at the Driving Standards Agency, both of which are part of the Department for Transport.

When calculated using the mean rather than median, the gender pay gap for hourly full-time work stands at 17.1%, ONS figures have shown.

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