Gender pay gap closes, but still significant

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Differences in gender pay remain for UK workers

The gender pay gap between men and women in full-time employment across the UK has improved in recent years, but still remains a significant stumbling block on the road to equality in the workplace.

According to new research published by UK high street lender Halifax, the level of pay growth for women has been twice as positive for women over the last six years than it has for man. However, despite this, men are on average still paid 32 per cent more than their female counterparts in the UK.

Since the end of the economic downturn and the start of the financial recovery in mid-2009, Halifax has highlighted an increasing push towards higher salaries for women that has not necessarily been reflected for male workers.

Indeed, the bank's data showed that between 2009 and 2014, female UK workers witnessed average pay growth of eight per cent, compared to just four per cent for men in the same position.

The gap remains a serious issue that UK businesses must be prepared to face though, as with almost a one-third difference in levels of remuneration between the sexes, it is a significant gap that is largely unwarranted in modern Britain.

It is, however, an improvement from the pay gap of 39 per cent that was recorded in 2004.

At present, the average salary for a man in full-time employment stands at £37,028, compared to £27,991 for a female counterpart. Major differences are attributed to time taken out of employment to raise a family - meaning many women miss out on several years of pay inflation as a result.

At the same time, men are more likely to be in employment than women (78 per cent against 69 per cent). Meanwhile, over a third (37 per cent) of all working women are in part-time employment, compared to just one in ten men (nine per cent) .

Giles Martin, head of Halifax Savings, said: "In terms of pay, women have fared better than men since the economic recovery began. Whilst this has helped to reduce the economic and financial gap between the genders, there is still a substantial difference in average salaries when in full time employment."

"Despite the economic outlook brightening, there are lots of financial pressures facing families, and planning for the long term as well as the short term is key irrespective of gender or income."