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Statutory Performance Benchmarks

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the impact of statutory performance benchmarks on the relative pay of women. [111655]

The gender pay gap is derived from mean hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for men and women. Womens hourly pay expressed as a percentage of mens hourly pay is what is generally referred to as the pay gap. ONS publish earnings figures from the New Earnings Survey (NES) annually which are the basis of governments gender pay gap figures.

The following table gives figures for the mean full-time and part-time pay gap, and the median full-time pay gap for April 2002.

Mens hourly earnings (£)

Womens hourly earnings (£)

Womens earnings as a percentage of mens full-time earnings

Full-time earnings (mean)12.5910.2281.1
Part-time (mean)(11.98)7.4258.9
Full-time (median)10.088.6085.3

When median earnings are used to construct the gender pay gap, instead of the mean, it shows that in fact the full-time pay gap has narrowed over the last year, from 15.4 per cent. in April 2001 to 14.7 per cent. in April 2002—a fall of 0.7 percentage points.

More information can be found in the WEU publication The Gender Pay Gap published in December 2001.