Government figures have revealed that the majority of medium to large UK firms continue to pay men higher wages than women.

By Felicity Anderson

By law, all firms with more than 250 staff must report their gender pay gap, summarising the total wage bill for female and male employees, to the government by 4 April 2018.

1,047 companies, including Tui, EasyJet, Virgin Money, the Clydesdale and TSB have so far complied, with another 8,000 still to submit their data, reports the BBC.

Men are earning 8% more per hour than women

The data submitted so far highlights that 74% of firms pay higher rates to their male employees, who typically earn over 8% more per hour than women.

15% of businesses, including Europcar and drinks giant Diageo have reported paying women more than men, while 11% of firms reported equal pay for both men and women.

The difference between the gender pay gap and pay inequality

The gender pay gap is measured by comparing median pay to women and men across a firm, while pay inequality compares the wages of men and women performing the same role.

While pay inequality is illegal, the gender pay gap isn’t although a big gap highlights possible red flags.

There could be potential discrimination within an organisation if women aren’t being promoted to senior roles or flaws with their parental leave system that are preventing women from growing their careers.

Where are the biggest gender pay gaps?

gender pay gap

In favour of men

The biggest gender pay gaps revealed so far exist in airlines, such as Tui and EasyJet and banks, including Virgin Money, the Clydesdale and TSB.

According to the BBC, EasyJet claims its pay gap of 45.5% is because the majority of its pilots are male, while most of its more modestly paid cabin crew are female.

Tui Airways, where men earn 47% more than women, has reported the same issue.

Many banks also report a large pay gap as Bank of England’s wage rate for men is 24% higher than for its female employees.

In favour of women

In the minority, Three Rivers Council pays an hourly rate for women that is 42% higher than for men.

Diageo meanwhile has a 9.8% pay bias in favour of women in its English operation.

The company says that this is because most of its sales and manufacturing roles are undertaken by men, while more women are employed in higher-paid office roles.

“I don’t see a reluctance”

8,000 firms are still to submit their wage data before the April deadline.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, denied companies were dragging their feet in reporting the data.

“I don’t see a reluctance,” she told the Today programme. “I think this is genuinely quite difficult data to find, it is often sitting on different systems and firms are working very hard towards that deadline.

“I think we’ll see the vast majority of firms reporting on time.”