Rishi Sunak’s cabinet office has the heftiest gender pay gap of all government departments, new figures reveal.
The gap between the earnings of male and female staff in the department rose by more than two-thirds from April 2021 to March 2022 – increasing from 9.8 to 16.6 per cent, according to a new government report.
Bonuses women were paid in 2022 in the cabinet office were lower than those men pocketed by an average of around £783.
In the report, the cabinet office said: “The increase in both the mean and median pay gap by 1.5 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively since last year is incredibly disappointing.”
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader and shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told The Independent the findings “speak to a wider culture of women being held back and facing a gender glass ceiling in government”.
“It sets a terrible precedent for women working across the public sector,” she added.
Ms Rayner, also shadow secretary of state for the future of work, called for the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to “now explain why his department is lagging so far behind and outline what action he is taking to turn the tide”.
The report researchers noted that women are “underrepresented in the more senior grades, with a decrease in representation in comparison to last year” as they conceded “there is clearly much work to be done”.
The report added: “The deteriorating figures for this year require more detailed analysis and liaison with colleagues across the department”.
The report comes after the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading gender equality charity, recently warned that it was “deeply disappointing” that the gender pay gap in wider society has scarcely narrowed in recent years.
Last month, Fawcett Society, which analysed the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, said the mean hourly gender pay gap for full-time workers was currently 11.3 per cent, while it was 11.9 per cent last year, and 10.6 per cent in 2020.
Equal pay day – the day in the year when women effectively start to work for free in comparison to men due to lower pay – fell on 20 November this year, the charity said.
Jemima Olchawski, Fawcett Society’s chief executive, said: “It is deeply disappointing that the gender pay gap has barely shifted in the past few years, especially given the cost of living crisis is hitting women the hardest and forcing them to make impossible choices.
“Other data indicates that the pay gap may be even worse for women of colour – though we still don’t know the full picture.”
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “While the latest data shows there are proportionally more women employed in the civil service than ever before and the median gender pay gap across government is falling, there’s clearly more to do.
“We need a Civil Service bringing in the very best talent from across the country, and that is what our new ministers are focused on.”