UK gender pay gap is not caused by discrimination

The UK’s gender pay gap is the widest of any country in the European Union,
but discrimination is not the cause, according to a new report.

Research by business information company Datamonitor, shows that UK women’s
pay is on average one-third less than men’s, standing at 63 per cent of male
salaries.

However, the study shows this disparity is due to the types of jobs women
choose, rather than a result of inherent discrimination.

The report’s author, Andrew Russell, said statistics show that women were more
likely to take jobs such as social work, nursing and teaching, which offer
lower salaries.

Russell added that 44 per cent of female staff in the UK work part-time,
compared with a European average of 34 per cent. At present, UK employers are
under no obligation to pay temps as much as full-time staff.

According to the research, those best off are women aged between 35 to 49,
who earn 72 per cent of men’s wages, but this is still well below the EU
average of 82 per cent.

The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) said that legislation
governing wages had to be re-examined, and pointed out that women often had no
choice about the industries they went into.

Diana Holland, T&G national organiser for women, race and equalities,
added: "The skills and demands of many of the jobs that women do have not
been recognised in the past through discrimination."

By Michael Millar

Women still earn less

The gap in pay between men and women is at its smallest yet,
but female staff still earn almost just 82 per cent of what men earn, according
to new figures.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics show
that full-time working men earned £28,065 on average, with full-time women
earning an average of £20,314.

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s rights, said
that at the present rate of change, it would take 85 years for the pay gap to
close.

By Michael Millar

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