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New ONS ASHE figures reveal huge earnings slump since the financial crash with most working people’s pay packets still worth less than 2008
  • Average worker would be £125 a week better off had pay increased since 2010 at the same pace as between 1997 and 2010 

  • The Tories have overseen a fall in real weekly pay of £4.50 from 2010 to 2023 – in the 13 years before the Conservatives took power real weekly pay grew by £99  

  • TUC says Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be transformative for working people by “making work pay, making work secure and making work fair” 

Commenting on today’s (Wednesday) annual pay statistics published by the ONS – which show that real wages were worth £71 a month less in April 2023 than they were in April 2008, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:  

“While living standards have nosedived for the vast majority of workers, those at the top have been largely insulated. 

“Real pay in the City is above its 2008 level.  

“But it’s a different story for most other workers with pay packets still worth less than 15 years ago.  

“This is unprecedented in modern history and a mark of Tory failure. 

“The 13 years before the Conservatives took power saw year on year pay growth – but under the Tories real pay has fallen. 

“The Conservatives are the party of pay cuts. Working people deserve better.” 

Gender pay gap 

Commenting on the latest gender pay figures – which show that the gender pay gap is now 14.3% and at current rates of progress will not be closed until 2044 – Paul Nowak said: 

“Our economy isn’t working for women. At this rate it will take decades to close the gender pay gap. 

“We need bolder action now. Companies must be legally required to explain how they’ll close their gender pay gaps – and should face fines if they don’t comply with the law. 

“And we must fix Britain’s broken childcare and social care systems, or women will continue to lose out as they bear the brunt of caring responsibilities. Fixing care is critical to raising women’s earnings.  

“We desperately need more flexible, affordable and accessible childcare for all families, that works around shifts, weekend work and irregular working patterns.  

“And we must address our social care crisis, by bringing in sectoral collective bargaining to stop the race to the bottom on pay and conditions.” 

New Deal for Working People 

The TUC is calling for government action to properly address the gender pay gap, and looks forward to Baroness O’Grady’s review of how to fix the gender pay gap which has been commissioned by Labour. 

The union body says Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be transformative for working people by “making work pay, making work secure and making work fair”.  

Labour has pledged to deliver new rights for working people in an employment bill in its first 100 days. Labour’s new deal would: 

  • Ban zero-hours contracts to help end the scourge of insecure work, which is particularly widespread in sectors like social care. 

  • Give all workers day one rights on the job. Labour will scrap qualifying time for basic rights, such as unfair dismissal, sick pay, and parental leave. 

  • Introduce ethnicity pay gap reporting and disability pay gap reporting, and boost gender pay gap reporting.  

  • Strengthen collective bargaining by introducing fair pay agreements to boost pay and conditions – starting in social care.  

  • Strengthen flexible working rights by introducing a day one right to work flexibly.  

  • Beef up enforcement by making sure the labour market enforcement bodies have the powers they need to undertake targeted and proactive enforcement work and bring civil proceedings upholding employment rights. 

Editors note

- ASHE figures: Today’s ASHE figures are available at:  
- The ASHE figures do not include data on the ethnicity and disability pay gap.  
- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

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