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Provisional figures published by the Office for National Statistics indicate that the gender pay gap in increasing in the UK.

Key points

The weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2013 were £517, up 2.2 per cent from £506 in 2012. For men full-time earnings were £556 per week, up 1.8 per cent and for women £459, up 2.2 per cent.

10 per cent of full-time employees earned less than £7.28 per hour (excluding overtime), an increase of 1.5 per cent compared with the previous year.

In April 2013 the median full-time salaries was up 2.7 per cent to £27,000, whilst median gross weekly earnings were highest in London, at £658, and lowest in Northern Ireland, at £460.

UK Gender pay gap increased

Trade unions have criticised a lack of government action to prevent this year’s “shock rise” in the gender pay gap, which had started to narrow slightly in recent years.

“The light touch, voluntary approach to tackling gender pay inequality is clearly failing,” said the TUC's general secretary, Frances O’Grady. “We need tougher action to force companies to look at their pay gaps.

“The government can lead the way by making all new public sector vacancies available on a part-time or flexible basis, so that women don’t have to trade down jobs if they need to work fewer hours to balance their career with caring responsibilities,” she added.

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