ONS report identifies link between discrimination and gender pay gap

A new report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in recent days claims that discrimination may ‘play a part’ in the UK’s gender pay gap.

The extensive study, which offers a fresh analysis of the gender pay gap across multiple sectors, has revealed that the average female employee is paid approximately 9.1 per cent less that her average male counterparts.

However, in some sectors – including banking and financial services – the rift can be as wide as 32 per cent, the report claims.

The ONS’ research revealed that approximately two thirds (61 per cent) of Britain’s gender pay gap cannot be explained by different work patterns, or even by factors such as seniority or tenure.

It concluded that, as a result of this, “it is possible” that sex discrimination “plays a part” in the overall gap.

Commenting on the research, Sophie Walker, Leader of political campaign group, the Women’s Equality Party, said: “This analysis underlines the urgent need for new equal pay legislation and measures to call unequal work practices to account.

“We struggle to make progress on the pay gap because every conversation seems to have to start by proving it exists against sexist comments about ‘lifestyle choices’,” she said.

“[But] the ONS’ analysis has debunked the myth that women are paid less than men simply because they ‘choose’ to do lower-paid jobs.”

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Donna Martin is a Partner in the Employment team at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. She advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. As an employment law expert, Donna has significant experience in drafting employment contracts and handbooks, advising on grievance and disciplinary procedures and preparatory work prior to tribunals, including advising on the advantages and disadvantages of settling cases.