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Equal Pay

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the percentage average weekly earnings of female full-time employees compared to those of men; and what steps they will take to reduce any gap between the earnings of male and female full-time employees.[HL6114]

The gender pay gap is 13.0 per cent, as measured by hourly earnings excluding overtime; this is the preferred measure of the gender pay gap. The gap in weekly median earnings is21.1 per cent less for women than for men1. The reasons for this differential can be explained by the fact that men typically earn more per hour than women and also that women in full-time employment typically work fewer hours per week than their male counterparts.

The Women and Work Commission has examined the causes of the pay gap and made practical recommendations to tackle it. The Government are committed to working with key players to tackle the gender pay gap and will issue an action plan later this year.

1 Source: ONS’s press release that accompanied the ASHE data in November 2005, and based on employee jobs paid at adult rates and not affected by absence.