The gap in pay for men and women in Britain is due to women leaving work to have children, a new study claims.
Women who take time off to have their family earn 15 per cent less on average when they return to their jobs, according to research carried out at Manchester University.
The survey of 10,000 people finds that mothers suffer a two per cent drop in salary for each year they are not working.
Wendy Owen, lecturer in socio-economic research at the University of Manchester urged the Government to offer extra training for women who interrupt their careers to have a family.
The research found women earn less than £7.50 an hour compared with the men's average of £10.27 per hour - a difference of over 25 per cent. The problem is exacerbated by a significant number of women who work part-time, the report says.