Pay gap narrowing but still unacceptably high

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date: 12 November 2009

embargo: For immediate release

Responding to the annual pay figures published today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'It's encouraging to see the gender pay gap narrowing but it is still unacceptably high. The day when men and women are paid equally looks as distant as ever.

'Women moving into part-time work will be shocked to learn that the part-time gender pay gap is 35.2 per cent. Millions of highly skilled women are being forced to sacrifice decent wages and their careers to combine work and family life.

'It shouldn't require a recession to make inroads into the gender pay gap. Employers are not going to close the pay gap of their own accord. The Government should introduce a range of strong measures to tackle discriminatory pay systems and occupational job segregation.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- According to the ONS the gender pay gap for full-time workers, based on mean hourly earnings excluding overtime, has fallen from 17.4 per cent in 2008 to 16.4 per cent in 2009.

- The TUC has calculated the part-time gender pay gap (35.2 per cent) by comparing the mean hourly earnings of men working full-time (£16.07) with women working part-time (£10.40).

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

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Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Brenchley T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: ebrenchley@tuc.org.uk

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