Recently Released Figures Highlight Gender Pay Gap in the UK

Household income is a key piece of your financial puzzle. Recent research showing how much UK men and women earn directly relates to your financial health. It has long been thought a pay equity gap exists between genders. The findings shared by thousands of large UK companies illustrate how wide the divide is between men’s and women’s salaries.

As UK families piece together their household budgets, data shows working women may not have the same earning potential as men, on average. If you and your partner are not bringing in the same amount of money, the figures suggest it’s due to a national trend, rather than personal performance. Large UK companies were recently required to report findings related to their payment practices. The results leave little doubt that UK firms offer higher compensation to male employees than their female counterparts.

Government Studied Pay Data

More than 10,000 companies recently participated in a study examining differences in the rates of pay between men and women working in the UK. As the deadline for reporting expired approximately 1,000 of the companies published pay figures on the final day of the study period. The data shows more than 75 per cent of UK companies studied pay their male employees more on average than their female staff members.

Among the companies presenting a gender pay gap, the median difference was nearly 10 per cent (9.7). Only 14 per cent of the companies looked at were found to pay women more than men. Of the firms reviewed, 8 per cent appear to exhibit no salary gap between the men and women on their payrolls.

By definition, the gender pay gap does not mean companies pay men more than women for performing the same jobs. Equal pay is required by law for employees working identical jobs, regardless of their gender. What the study illustrates is that many of the companies providing data employ more highly paid men than women, resulting in a gender pay gap. Companies with more than 250 employees are required to supply figures outlining the average wage differences between male and female staff members.

The trend favouring men appears in most employment sectors, though there is a wide difference between the highest and lowest gaps. In the finance and insurance sector, for example, the pay disparity between men and women is more than twice the median figure, nearing 25 per cent. In retail, health, arts and entertainment sectors, on the other hand, the wage gap is far less than the study’s median finding of 9.7 per cent.

How Companies Fared When Comparing Wages

Of the companies publishing data, airline Ryanair showed a noted gender gap of more than 70 per cent. Fosse Healthcare, Fusion People, GoToDoc, and NWN Media also ranked within the ten companies with the widest pay gaps. On the other end of the scale, recognizable High Street brands such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, and Costa reported no differences in pay rates for male and female employees.

Firms like car maker Tesla and the electronics company, Richer Sounds, published figures that buck the trend, showing their women staff members make more than men working for these companies. Lenders acknowledge employment, irrespective of an applicant’s gender, so the pay gap doesn’t interfere with financing opportunities for working borrowers. However, loan seekers bringing home lower salaries may face limitations from mortgage lenders that approve financing based upon household income levels.

Although the median gender pay gap can be calculated at 9.7 per cent, using recent reporting from more than 10,000 UK employers, the Office of National Statistics offers a different figure. The ONS uses data from its annual survey of hours and earnings to identify the UK’s gender pay gap. The figures collected by the annual survey account for all employers and include both full and part-time employment numbers. Using this information, the ONS calculates the pay gap as 18.4 per cent.
Pay equity questions loom in the UK, as companies report a gender gap in 2018. For UK residents, lagging salary opportunities for women have an impact on household cash flow and financial security.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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