Thursday 4 April 2019 11:15 pm

UK firms go slow on women’s pay as gender pay gap narrows slightly

Follow August Graham
The gender pay gap widened at 181 of the UK’s largest employers last year, as big business made small progress towards reducing disparities between men and women.

Read more: Avoid these "quick fixes" for closing the gender pay gap

With around 10 per cent of employers left to report before tonight's midnight deadline, those with more than 5,000 staff on their books showed a median pay gap of 10.36 per cent, down 0.06 percentage points from the year before.

This means women were paid on average around 90p for every pound that men made.

The number of large employers paying women less than men rose by nine to 429 in 2018. Meanwhile, those paying men less fell from 44 to 28.

The news comes a year after the government forced employers with more than 250 staff to report their gender pay gap for the first time.

This week’s figures offer the first true indication that the pay gap remains largely unchanged in the biggest firms.

At the 188 NHS trusts where women were paid less than men in 2017, 111 widened that gap.

However, there were also reasons for equal pay champions to be cheerful. Although the pay gap widened at 181 large employers, it contracted at 227 and remained unchanged at 32.

Meanwhile, businesses of all sizes in London did significantly better, narrowing their pay gap by 0.5 percentage points to 13 per cent.

Read more: Goldman Sachs narrows gender pay gap slightly to 51 per cent

Among the top performers was challenger bank Monzo, where women were paid 14 per cent less than men in 2018. A fall from 48 per cent in 2017, but it is still “clear that we need to continue to improve,” Monzo said.