Payroll & Compensation

Is Inflation Fueling the Pay Gap?

Women in the UK make less money than men, but has historic inflation rates further prolonged the chance for equality?

By Zee Johnson

A recent CIPHR study found that women in the UK were less likely than men to receive a salary increase that fell in line or exceeded the current rate of inflation (14% compared to 22%). Two-fifths (40%) of women who had received a pay raise to date said it was below inflation while comparatively, just a third (32%) of the men who received a pay rise said the same.

The survey’s findings, along with reports from the Office of Budget Responsibility, revealed that because current pay rises are not expected to fall in line with inflation, the gender pay gap is expected to widen even more.

In 2021, the average median pay gap for all employees was 15.4% and on average, women earned 85 pounds for every pound a man earned. Adding, the average median hourly pay gap, which the report was based on, was 11.9%. And now with the government’s 2021-22 pay gap reporting year deadline approaching, it will be revealed whether the biggest organisations in the UK (companies with more than 250 employees) have been supporting efforts to close the gender pay gap or have been adding to its expansion.

Some companies have already published their figures for the reporting year, and of those who’ve released their information, a staggering 77% pay their male employees more than their female employees. Only one in seven (13.4%) pay women workers more and just 9.6% say they don’t have a pay gap at all.

In addition to pay, another disparity women are facing in the workplace is flexibility. Forty-two percent of men said that their employer had offered them a flexible working location, whereas only 34% of women could say the same. Of those surveyed, 29% of women worked mostly from home, while 37% of men did, as well. Also, 71% of women work mostly onsite at their employer’s work premises, compared to approximately 63% of men. This could be due to worker preference or job responsibilities, as some duties can only be performed onsite.

According to the survey, statistically, women are less likely than men to be offered a four-day work week (13% compared to 23%); the ability to set their own hours and working schedule (21% compared to 29%); the ability to work remotely from another country on a temporary or permanent basis (9% compared to 25%); and unlimited paid holidays (7% compared to 16%).

Tags: EMEA May 2022, EMEA News, Payroll

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