Scotland is set to close the gender pay gap at twice the rate of the rest of the UK, new figures have shown.
New data reveals that the gender pay gap between men and women is lower in Scotland – almost half that of the rest of the UK.
According to figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), between April 2022 and April 2023 the gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime and the self-employed) was 8.7% in Scotland and 14.3% across the UK.
Using the three-year rolling average over the last five years, the figures showed that it will take 10.8 years to close Scotland’s gender pay gap.
In the UK, this is expected to take 20.9 years, with the gap widening in the last year.
It comes after the 2023 Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings showed that Scotland’s gender pay gap reached a record low.
The survey showed that the gender pay gap in Scotland fell from 3% in 2022 to 1.7% in 2023 – the lowest since the series began in 1997. At the same time, the gap increased from 7.6% to 7.7% in the UK as a whole.
The ONS survey also found that full-time women’s weekly pay in Scotland rose 10.6% over the year – the largest annual increase in the UK.
SNP MSP Kate Forbes said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that Scotland continues to lead the way in equal pay in the UK.
“It’s unbelievable that many employers still fall short of equal pay in 2023, and that women are undervalued and underpaid compared with men in exactly the same roles – I welcome the Scottish Government’s action to address the structural inequalities that contribute to sustaining the gender pay gap, like expanding free early years provision and its Women Returners’ scheme.
“There is still work to do before we see a zero gender pay gap in Scotland. I would encourage all employers to ensure their employees are paid fairly and equally, and to look at how they can provide the conditions women workers need to excel.”
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