Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested that the gender pay gap for women widens as they get older.
The ONS found that, for younger workers, the gap remains small. However, from age 40 onwards, the gender pay gap for women widens, reaching its peak between the ages of 50 and 59.
The data also revealed that the gender pay gap for full-time workers in the UK is in favour of men in all occupations.
One of the factors contributing to the widening gender pay gap for women is the fact that many women take time off of work to have children. The ONS data revealed that the employment rate for women with dependent children is currently 73.7%, whilst the employment rate for men with dependent children stands at 92.4%.
New rules introduced from 6 April 2017 mean that large businesses are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures on their website. The government hopes that, by publishing this data, employers will be able to address any gaps within their firm, and take action to close them.
Voluntary and private sector employers with 250 employees or more must publish their figures by 4 April 2018. Public sector employers must publish their figures by 30 March 2018.
Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for the government said: ‘Action taken by this government means that we are one of the first countries in the world to require all large employers to publish their gender pay gap and bonus data. This is not an option, it is the law.’