TUC warns over gender pay gap

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TUC warns over gender pay gap (image credit: iStock)

Disparity in levels of remuneration between male and female staff occupying the same roles in businesses across the country needs to be more effectively tackled in future.

This is according to the TUC, which has cited official data from the Office for National Statistics showing that the UK's full-time median gender pay gap has fallen by just 0.2 percentage points in 2016 and continues to stand at 9.4 per cent.

According to the body, the rate of change in this important aspect of UK employment is simply not moving fast enough, with a 0.2 per cent annual shift in the pay divide having now been maintained for the last five years.

Indeed, this rate has slowed of late, as between 1997 and 2010, the rate of the divide closing stood at a far more welcome 0.6 per cent per year.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady stated: "The full-time gender pay gap is closing at a snail's pace. At this rate, it will take decades for women to get paid the same as men.

"We need a labour market that works better for women. This means helping mums get back into well-paid jobs after they have kids. And encouraging dads to take on more caring responsibilities."

Across the whole of the UK workforce (taking into account both full and part-time positions), the gender pay gap remains at an astonishing 18.1 per cent. This is therefore a situation that warrants further action to ensure female staff are not being discriminated against as a result of their gender in the years ahead.

Ms O'Grady concluded the government should now consider a range of measures to better incentivise businesses to provide equal pay between male and female staff, while the body has also suggested ministers should consider the scrapping of tribunal fees.

Indeed, the TUC chief stated that the current system acts to "stop women getting justice from bad employers who have discriminated against them".