Issue date
09 Nov 2015

Analysis by the TUC published today (Monday) on Equal Pay Day reveals that the gap in annual salaries between top-earning women and top-earning men has hit 54.9%.

Each year, Equal Pay Day marks the point at which women working full-time effectively stop earning as they are paid on average 14.2% less an hour than men working full-time.

Today’s TUC analysis of official statistics reveals that while some progress has been made in securing an increase in the number of women members on company boards, the salary gap for top earners is still very high.

Looking at the top 10% of earners, the gap in annual salaries between full-time men and women rises steadily through each percentile, hitting 45.9% for the top 5% of earners, and reaching 54.9% for the top 2%. The top 2% male earners bring in more than £117,352 a year, while women get £75,745, more than £40,000 a year less.

In July the Prime Minister pledged to end the gender pay gap within a generation by forcing large companies to publish information about the difference between average male and female earnings. The TUC believes the government must go further: employers should have to publish more detailed information about gender pay differences in their workplace – including the distribution of men and women – alongside action plans to close the pay gap in their workplace. And companies who fail to comply with the law should be fined.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These figures show that the glass ceiling is barely cracked, let alone broken.

“It is shocking the UK still has such a large gender pay differences at the top of the labour market after more than four decades of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation. We need pay transparency, equal pay audits and a requirement on companies to tackle gender inequality – or face fines.

“We need a fair labour market that works for everyone and that doesn't discriminate against women. I would urge all women concerned about their pay to join a union. Being in a union is the best way to get your voice heard and your interests represented at work.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The TUC’s priorities for gender pay gap reporting are available at http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2015/10/gender-pay-gap-reporting-is-it-anything-more-than-a-policy-gimmick/

- Top full-time employee gross annual earnings by sex and percentile

Earnings percentile

Men (£)

Women (£)

Pay gap (per cent)

90

60,177

44,939

33.9

91

62,936

46,247

36.1

92

65,957

47,686

38.3

93

69,749

49,972

39.6

94

74,718

52,544

42.2

95

80,837

55,712

45.9

96

89,332

59,643

49.8

97

100,000

65,163

53.5

98

117,253

75,745

54.9

99

155,036

n/a

n/a

Figures are from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014, the information about the top decile of earners has not been available previously and has been published for the first time today (Monday) by the TUC. Figures are not available for the top 1% as the sample size is too small

- Equal Pay Day 2016: Historically Equal Pay Day has marked the point in the year when the average woman effectively stops being paid compared to the average man. Next year, Fawcett and the TUC who organise Equal Pay Day, have agreed to mark it when the average woman starts being paid (likely to fall sometime in February or March 2016 and we will send out an op note nearer the time). This will bring the UK into line with how Equal Pay Day is calculated in most other countries. It will also mean that Equal Pay Day does not fall just before the release of new official gender pay gap figures. The ONS will be publishing the 2015 gender pay gap on Wednesday 18 November.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews

Contacts:

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