Gender pay gap worst for five years

The
gap between men and women’s wages has widened for the first time since 1997.

The
rise has been attributed to big pay deals for the City’s predominantly male
workforce during the past year.

The
Office for National Statistics said the boost to low-earning women’s pay
packets from last October’s increase in the minimum wage was wiped out by the
impact of large increases for male professional and managerial workers in
London.

The
annual survey of earnings found women earned 81.1 per cent of male average hourly
earnings – down from 81.5 per cent last year.

The
figures show that part-time female staff are faring even worse – earning just
58.9 per cent of the full-time average hourly rate.

Chair
of the Equal Opportunities Commission Julie Mellor said the figures were
disappointing and that women were paying the price for not working a
traditional 9-to-5 day.

"Britain’s
woeful record on pay has to change if we are ever to see a more equal society.
It will only change if companies of all sizes review the way that they pay
their staff. It’s not enough to recognise the problem," she said.

By Ross Wigham

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