The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the latest report on gender pay gap statistics for 2020. There are some positives to take from the report, as it was found that for full-time employees, the pay gap fell 2.4% between April 2019–April 2020, and for all employees, the gap fell by 1.9% within the same period. While it is still not an even playing field, the statistics show we are heading in the right direction.


What is the gender pay gap?


To remind you, the gender pay gap is the name given to the difference between average hourly earnings of men and women (not including overtime). It is a measure across all jobs in the UK, not of the difference in pay between men and women for doing the same job.



Key takeaways from the ONS report:


  • It is worth remembering that the statistics for this year include the period of time when approximately 8.8 million people were on furlough due to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – however the impact of the coronavirus on the gender pay gap was found to be minor, according to the ONS.


  • There was a 9.0% pay gap in April 2019, which dropped to a 7.4% pay gap in 2020. This is clearly a positive and an improvement on last year, but there is still plenty of room to further equality.


  • For full time employees under the age of 40, the pay gap was almost non-existent. However, for those older employees the pay gap was over 10%. This suggests that in the future, more equal pay is projected to occur more frequently, which is great to see.


  • In terms of management positions, the gender pay gap has decreased.


  • It was found that over the last four years, the pay gap has decreased in both small and larger (those with over 250 employees) companies. Also, since 2017, organisations which employ 250 or more employees have been required by the UK government to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap.



Our thoughts


Here at Lisa’s Law we are huge advocates for equality in every way, including salary. We are pleased to see the numbers are moving in the right direction, but understand that there is still a long way to go before things are completely fair. A positive part of the report, in our opinion, is how minimal the pay gap is between younger employees. We believe there is good reason to be optimistic that in the not-so-distant future, the pay gap will shrink significantly as these younger people grow into more senior positions, and the old way of thinking is slowly but surely phased out of the workplace.


The full report is available here.



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