GMB welcome news of narrowing gender pay gap but call on London to catch up with rest of UK

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GMB welcome news of gender pay gap narrowing to record low but call on employers in London to move in line with the rest of the country

More needs to be done to reduce the gap at a faster pace, says GMB London

GMB has welcomed the news that the gender pay gap for full-time workers has fallen to a record low 8.6% in the UK, but feel employers in London must do more to move in line with the rest of the country.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the gap has narrowed by 0.5% from 9.1% last year, and is the lowest since records began in 1997. The difference in the pay of all men and women workers, including those in part-time jobs, has fallen from 18.4% to 17.9%. [See notes to editors for link to ONS statistical bulletin]

Despite the narrowing of the gender pay gap, Roger Smith, ONS statistician explained the data by saying, "After taking account of inflation, earnings are still only where they were in 2011, and have not yet returned to pre-downturn levels."

In London, the gender pay gap is 13.7%, the widest seen across the UK. This is despite the capital being below the UK average when records began two decades ago. Women working full-time in London earned 15.1% less per hour, on average, than their male counterparts 20 years ago. However, in that time the gap has narrowed by just 1.4%.

Gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men. For example, a 4% GPG denotes that women earn 4% less, on average, than men.

Sue Hackett, GMB Equality Officer on behalf of the GMB Sisters said:

“GMB London Region welcomes this news that the gender pay gap is going in the right direction. However, what is still a significant issue is the desire of employers with less than 250 employees to report their GPG figures.

“The difference of 17.9% for all men and women workers including those in part-time jobs is still huge. More needs to be done to reduce the gap at a faster pace, especially in London which had the lowest gender pay gap 20 years ago but now has the largest. It's time for London to move in line with the work being done in other areas of the UK.

“With significant numbers of people in zero hour, insecure, low paid jobs, this is expected, but a race to the bottom should not be the way forward.

“We can see first-hand the impact of low wages and insecure work on families, when taking inflation into account. Wages have not improved since 2011!”


Contact: Sue Hackett 07813 542 070 or GMB London Press Office 07970 114 762

Notes to Editors

Office of National Statistics – “Gender pay gap in the UK: 2018” (25 Oct 2018)