04 November 2016 #Employment
Figures released this week from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a trend of rising earnings for the low-paid.
The ONS has released figures which show a 6.2% rise for the lowest paid workers, compared with a 2.5% rise for those in the highest earning 5% bracket. This means that pay inequality has narrowed between April 2015 and April 2016.
This trend is largely being attributed to changes brought about by the National Living Wage which led to an immediate pay rise for 1.8 million workers. As mentioned in our September article, there were concerns about how companies may seek to work around the legislation, however the ONS figures may temporarily assuage such fears.
Does this mean all is well?
Despite the positive increase in wages for the lowest paid, the Resolution Foundation think tank points out that typical earnings are still 6.8% below pre-recession levels. As such, while the message is a positive one for low-earners, there is clearly still some way to go.
Furthermore, the General Secretary for the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Frances O’Grady, has expressed frustration that the gender pay gap is only “closing at a snail’s pace”. The ONS statistics unfortunately support this, as full-time female employees are still paid 9.4% less than men.
Expect these trends to be closely monitored following the Brexit vote and the prospect of rising inflation due to the devaluation of the pound.