UK gender pay gap falls at fastest pace since 2017

  • Equality & Diversity
a male and female colleague working at a desk together
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

The overall UK gender pay gap has fallen at the fastest rate in six years with a 12.2% differential between men and women

Over the past year, over half (53.7%) of companies reported a fall in their average pay gaps, with the national average standing at 12.2% - a decline of 0.7% from 12.9% in 2021/22, according to PwC research.

The UK Gender Pay Gap report, commissioned by the Big Four firm, identified the most significant annual decrease in hourly pay gaps since 2017.

Of the 10,427 companies that disclosed their pay gaps for 2021/22 and 2022/23, just over half (53.7%) reported a decrease in their average pay gaps.

However, most organisations reported only a small change, with nearly 60% of companies reporting increases or decreases of up to 4%.

In addition, the research also highlighted a fall in the average hourly pay gap, showing a reduction from 9.8% in 2021/22 to 9.2% in 2022/23.

Building societies, banking and insurance sectors had the highest average hourly pay gaps. Public administration, health and leisure had the lowest.

The largest gender pay gap was 30.1% at building societies, while the public administration sector had the lowest at 4.5%.

Compared with last year, the travel sector saw the largest increase in the average pay gap of 2%, while the technology sector saw the largest decrease, by -1.9%.

Katy Bennett, diversity, inclusion and equity consulting director at PwC, said: ‘While on the surface it is encouraging to see the most significant annual decrease in the UK’s mean pay gap this year, the data highlights that it is difficult for organisations to make meaningful reductions to their reporting figures.

‘In order to do this, businesses need to understand the underlying drivers of their pay gaps and address the root causes, such as recruitment and attrition rates, external market pay expectations and organisational structures.’

Since last year, over 35% of companies reported pay gap changes between 0 and 2%. This means that most organisations still struggle with making significant changes to close the gap, and change may take much longer than anticipated.

PwC also found that generally larger organisations with 20,000 employees or more had lower mean hourly pay gaps compared to smaller companies.

Bennett added: ‘Diversity, equity and inclusion reporting and broader pay transparency requirements, such as the EU Pay Transparency Directive, are only getting more complex and high profile.

‘Organisations need to demonstrate they will address the drivers of their pay gaps, moving the focus from reportable numbers to taking credible action to improve equality, inclusion and social impact.’

For more information on gender pay gap reporting obligations, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Where should a gender pay gap report be published?

Read more from the latest BrAInbox Business News update:

Rolled up holiday pay set to return: what exactly is it?

Asbestos conman ordered to pay back £82,100

HMRC advisory fuel rates for company car users from 1 June 2023

Q&A: company credit cards and EV charging

Related articles

  • equality for older workers


    General Election 2024: political parties urged to give older workers equal opportunities

    According to new analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better (CAB), the next government could boost the economy by as much as £9 billion a year if it gave older workers a fairer deal in the labour market.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Equality & Diversity
  • safety failings


    Drowning death sees BAM Nuttall fined £2m

    Construction company BAM Nuttall Ltd has been fined more than £2m following the death of a worker who drowned whilst working on their flood defence project in Leeds.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Grievance
  • compensation pay


    Directors involved in BHS collapse must pay £18.3m in compensation

    The High Court has ruled that two directors of collapsed retailer BHS must pay £18,364,448 in compensation to creditors to stop corporate risk-taking

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Dispute Resolution
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and health & safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.