Gender pay gap increases for the first time in five years
The pay gap between men and women has widened for the first time since 2008.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that women earn £5,000 less on average.
The difference is calculated on median hourly earnings for full time workers. The median wage gap increased from 9.5% to 10% in the last year. However, the TUC say that it is more appropriate to look at the mean figure, which suggests the gender pay gap was 15.7%.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: ''Years of a slow, steady progress on closing the gender pay gap has gone into reverse.”
Charlie Woodworth of the Fawcett Society said: "More must be done to tackle occupational segregation – women continue to be shockingly under-represented in better paid industries such as science and technology."
The figures will be disappointing to women and to campaigners who have tried to reduce the gender pay gap in recent years.
The law does offer some protection for women in the workplace. It is illegal for companies to pay women less than men when they do the same job, and it is also against the law to discriminate against women when recruiting and promoting staff.
Women who feel they have been discriminated against at work should seek legal advice.