The ONS has published gender pay gap figures, but urges caution because of issues related to Covid figures.
The gender pay gap for full-time workers increased in the last year, going up from 7.7% in April 2021 to 8.3% this April, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
However, pre-Covid the gap was 9% and the ONS recommends looking at longer term trends rather than year on year comparisons. It says that over the coronavirus pandemic period, earnings estimates were affected by changes in the composition of the workforce and the impact of the furlough scheme which made interpretation difficult. It adds that data collection disruption and lower response rates mean that, for 2020 and 2021, data were subject to more uncertainty and should be treated with caution.
The ONS says, however, that there remains a large difference in the gender pay gap between employees aged over 40 years and those aged below 40 years and that, compared with lower-paid employees, higher earners experience a much larger difference in hourly pay between the sexes.
Nevertheless, the managers, directors and senior officials’ occupation group has experienced the largest fall in gender pay gap since the pre-coronavirus pandemic April 2019 figure, especially for those aged 50 and over.
The ONS also notes that the gender pay gap is higher in every English region than in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, in other news Kemi Badenoch has been appointed Minister for Women and Equalities alongside her role as Secretary of State for International Trade.