Scotland making key progress in workplace equality

gender equality

With only months to go before all firms with more than 250 staff have to publish details about the differences in pay and bonuses between men and women, data from the Office for National Statistics shows that while the gender pay gap for the UK only improved by 0.2 percentage points, in Scotland, it improved by 1.8 percentage points.

The gender pay gap in Scotland now stands at 7.3%, compared to the rest of the UK, where the figure is 9.4%.

Fair Work secretary Roseanna Cunningham described the news as “welcome,” adding that it “demonstrates the progress Scotland is making in closing the gender pay gap, particularly when compared to the rest of the UK.”

Commenting on the poor improvement in gender pay parity for the whole of the UK, Charles Cotton, pay and reward advisor, CIPD said: “The pay gap has changed little over the last four years. Much more needs to be done to address the barriers that prevent women remaining on a career track to the top.”

He added: “We need to see better links between education and business, more inclusive recruitment practices, and greater use of mentoring to help women make the step up to the most senior levels in business.  

'But top priority should be given to encouraging more flexible working opportunities. It’s this that’s needed to stop the massive widening in the pay gap we see for women during their 30s. The figures also highlight the importance of childcare provision for workers given the gender pay gap is so large for women in their 40s and beyond.”

As it stands, the gender pay gap is approximately £100 per week, with full-time men earning an average of £567 a week, while women earn £471.

At its current rate of improvement, the TUC predicts the gender pay gap will take 50 years to close completely.

The sector where the pay gap is at its widest is skilled trades (24.6%), while in sales, the gap is at its smallest (4.3%).