The pay gap between male and female workers in full-time employment has narrowed in the past year.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the median hourly rate for men in full-time employment was £12.97 compared to £11.39 for women.
This means the gender pay gap stands at 12.2%, down from 12.6% in 2008. For part-time employees, the gap is -2.0%, compared with -3.7% in 2008.
The widest pay gaps by occupation are seen in the skilled trades where the gap ranges from 22.7% to 31.2%. The narrowest pay gaps for full-time and all employees are in professional occupations.
General secretary of the Trades Union congress (TUC) Brendan Barber said: “It is encouraging to see the gender pay gap narrowing but it is still unacceptably high. The day when men and women are paid equally looks as distant as ever.
“It should not require a recession to make inroads into the gender pay gap. Employers are not going to close the pay gap of their own accord. The Government should introduce a range of strong measures to tackle discriminatory pay systems and occupational job segregation.”
Employee Benefits’ Salary Survey 2009 found there is still a significant gender pay gap among reward professionals. The mean salary for men (£59,534) is now more than £16,000 above the mean salary for women (£42,988) in this profession.