Are Government measures to reduce the gender pay gap failing women over 40?

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry to inform Government strategy on reducing the gender pay gap.

More and more companies are thinking about their gender pay gap as the Government is set to announce its proposals to tackle the gender pay gap in early 2016.

Currently the gap between all male and female employees stands at 19.1% (2014), measured by median gross hourly pay. For all full time employees the gender pay gap is 9.4%, but there are wide variations by age and sector.

Younger women, from 18-39, in full-time work experience a very low or even reversed gender pay gap. ONS data shows the gap for hourly earnings growing from the age of 40 onwards. It is greatest for women in their 50s. This is partly due to the fact that half of women over 50 work part-time, and hourly wages for part-time workers are significantly lower than those for full-time employees.The gender pay gap is not confined to those working part-time though. Women over 50 working full-time earn 82% of what men of the same age working full-time earn. Some of this discrepancy is down to occupational segregation. At present, two-thirds of women aged over 50 are employed in just three sectors: education, health and retail.

Key policies that the Government has already announced include:

  • Every company with more than 250 employees being required by law to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees
  • New steps to compel larger employers to publish bonus information by gender
  • Gender pay reporting rules being extended to include the public sector, as well as private and voluntary organisations

To submit written evidence, please consult the Women and Equalities Committee website.

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Are Government measures to reduce the gender pay gap failing women over 40?

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