Government must continue progress on closing the gender pay gap

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date: 8 December 2010

embargo: for immediate release

Commenting on the annual pay figures published today (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The fall in the full-time gender pay gap up to April 2010 is welcome news for working women across the UK.

'The government has inherited a gender pay gap at a record low, the challenge it faces now is to continue this progress and eliminate it altogether.

'But with hundreds of thousands of female public servants set to lose their jobs, there are real fears that women's income could start to fall as they struggle to find work in the private sector, where the gender pay gap is twice as high.

'And while the full-time pay gap is falling, the part-time gender pay gap is still shockingly big at around 35 per cent.

'Women looking for part-time work in the private sector will be shocked to learn that average pay is just a pound above the minimum wage.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- According to ONS the gender pay gap for full-time workers, based on mean hourly earnings excluding overtime, has fallen from 16.4 per cent in April 2009 to 15.5 per cent in April 2010.

- The TUC has calculated the part-time gender pay gap (34.5 per cent) by comparing the mean hourly earnings of men working full-time (£16.25) with women working part-time (£10.64).

- According to ONS, for full-time employees the median gender pay difference in the public sector was 10 per cent, down from 11.5 per cent in April 2009. In the private sector, the pay gap was 19.8 per cent, down from 20.9 per cent in April 2009. www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/ashe1210.pdf

- According to ONS, the median hourly earnings for women working part-time in the private sector is £6.96, £1.03 higher than the minimum wage (currently £5.93).

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

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 Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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