The gender pay gap has grown over the past year as inflation sweeps the UK, but a longer-term trend reveals that the figure is – albeit slowly – declining.
The difference in pay between men and women stood at 8.3 per cent in April of this year, up from 7.7 per cent in the same month a year prior, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
However, men typically earned nine per cent more than women in the same jobs in April 2019.
The country’s highest earners, who are women, are more likely to be earning less than their male peers in comparison with lower-paid employees, the research revealed.
“The gender pay gap is now some way below where it was before the pandemic,” head of labour market and household statistics at the ONS, David Freeman, said. “Although it’s up on the last two years, those figures were distorted by the effects of COVID-19, so it’s better to look at longer-term trends.”
Clare Willets, CEO and founder of Not Only Pink and Blue, an online marketplace challenging gender stereotypes when it comes to children’s clothing, urged businesses to improve their parental leave policies in a bid to tackle the gender pay gap.
“A key time that the gender pay gap is exacerbated is around the time of having a family,” she explained. “We need to normalise caring responsibilities being shared. Our shared parental leave policies are simply not fit for purpose.”