The gender pay gap for full time employees decreased from 9.4% in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017 according to the provisional figures contained in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

However, the gender pay gap for full time employees in the public sector increased between 2016 and 2017 from 11.1% to 13.1%. This is the highest gender pay gap in the public sector since 1999.

The figure for all employees, both full time and part time has also increased from 18.2% in 2016 to 18.4% in the current year. This is explained by the Office for National Statistics as the result of both the part time and full time gender pay gaps moving closer to zero together with an increase in the proportion of employees working full time (source: ONS Labour Market Statistics table A01(3), period March to May 2016 and March to May 2017).

Age continues to be an issue of concern. The gender pay gap is relatively small for employees up to the age of 30 and in line with the national average for employees aged 30 to 40. However female employees in their 40s and 50s are, on average, paid over 25% less than male employees of the same age. 

Employers with 250 or more employees are obliged to publish their gender pay gap information in 2018. They will undoubtedly be interested to note whether age is a factor in their gender pay gap results, and will also no doubt consult the ONS figures for each sector to see how their results compare with the national average for the sector in which they operate.