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Equal Pay

Question for Women and Equalities

UIN HL18021, tabled on 2 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to identify the cause of the gender pay gap.

Answered on

7 October 2019

The Government introduced ground-breaking regulations in 2017 requiring large employers to publish gender pay gap data.

We recognise that reporting is just the start; we are committed to ensuring that the UK is an international leader on gender equality research.

This year, we published the Case for Change, an in-depth analysis of how economic gender inequalities develop across people’s lives. In this, we highlight research we published in 2018, led by the University of Manchester, that identified four key drivers of the UK Gender Pay Gap:

  • Occupational segregation - the types of jobs that women tend to do are less well paid than the types of jobs men do.

  • Industrial segregation - the sectors of the economy that women tend to work in are less well paid than the sectors that men work in.

  • Differences in the ways men and women participate in the labour market - women tend to spend more years out of the labour market undertaking unpaid care work than men, and tend to have fewer years of full-time work experience.

  • Other factors that cannot be explained by the data we have, but could include discrimination, harassment, preferences and choices.

To address these drivers, we published the Gender Equality Roadmap in July, setting out the Government’s vision and actions to address the persistent gendered barriers people face across their lives. Furthermore, our new annual Gender Equality Monitor brings together 24 indicators on gender equality from all areas of life to help us better measure progress over time.

We are also running two research programmes, Women and Gender Equality and Gender and Behavioural Insights, to develop the evidence base on gender equality in the workplace. Findings from this research is being used to identify practical actions for employers and organisations to support women’s progression in the workplace and reduce their gender pay gap.

Answered by

Women and Equalities