Gender pay gap between men and women lower in Scotland than UK as a whole, figures show

SNP MSP Gillian Martin said Scotland ‘continues to outperform the UK’

The gender pay gap between men and women is lower in Scotland than the UK as a whole, new figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the gender pay gap for all employees in 2022 was 12.2%, lower than the UK-wide figure of 14.9%.

Scotland’s figure has increased slightly from 11.6% the previous year, while the UK-wide figure decreased slightly from 15.1% in 2021.

In the 2022 data, the gap for full-time employees was also lower at 3.7% in Scotland, compared to 8.3% in the UK.

The gender pay gap has been lower in Scotland than in the UK since 2003, with the gap in both Scotland and the UK typically reducing over time.

‘Scotland continues to outperform the UK’

Commenting on the gender pay gap, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said “there is sill a lot of work to do before we see a zero gender pay gap in Scotland” but “it is extremely encouraging to see that Scotland continues to outperform the UK in making sure women are paid the same as men for doing the exact same job.”

She said: “Women should not be economically less well-off throughout their working lives, and there are structural issues that need to be addressed – not least the burden of caring still falling to women.

“This is the biggest driver of the gender pay gap, and one the Scottish Government is actively addressing, particularly in its early years provision. 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 progress.”

The new figures come after new research suggests that the gender pay gap remains at its widest for Britain’s oldest workers. Rest Less, which offers advice to the over 50s, said there was a 24% difference between the median gross annual pay of full-time working men and women aged in their 50s, rising to a gap of 26% for those over the age of 60.

Rest Less analysed pay data from the ONS and found that in 2022, the biggest difference in full-time pay was between men and women in their 50s.

Women aged between 50 and 59 earned an average salary of £30,603 which was £7,274 less than men in the same age group who earned an average salary of £37,877.

Rest Less also compared 2022 data with the previous 10 years and found that while the national gender pay gap across all age groups has narrowed from 24% in 2012 to 19% in 2022 – it remains at its highest for those in their 50s and 60s.

Rest Less chief executive Stuart Lewis said: “Caring responsibilities, the burden of which still falls disproportionately on women, means women can miss out on salary progression during their careers – which compounds as time goes on, widening the gender pay gap as we age. This can have devastating long-term consequences on women’s retirement provision and financial independence into later life.

“We know that there is a significant private pension savings gap between men and women and it’s no surprise when you see decades of the gender pay gap only getting worse in the run up to retirement – a time in life when people are typically trying to save as much as they possibly can into their pensions.”