Low pay by gender

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • In 2010, a third of all part-time employees were paid less than £7 per hour.  This compares with one in seven full-time women and one in nine full-time men.
  • More than half of those paid less than £7 per hour are part-time workers, the great majority of them being women.  With half of the low-paid full-timers are also being women, women account for two-thirds of all low-paid workers.
  • At all ages, at least a quarter of part-time employees who are paid less than £7 per hour. Except for the 18-21 age group, the proportion of full-time employees paid less than £7 per hour is much lower.
  • Although low pay is most prevalent among workers aged 21 and under, they account for just one fifth of all low-paid workers on adult rates.  Almost half of low-paid workers on adult rates are aged 40 or over.
  • See the UK indicator on trends in low pay (trends not being available specifically for Scotland).

Definitions and data sources

The first graph show the proportion of employees paid less than £7 per hour, with the data shown separately by age for each of part-timers (men and women combined), full-time women and full-time men.  The reason for combining male and female part-timers is that their risk of low pay is similar.

The next two graphs show the distribution of employees paid less than £7 per hour.  In the second graph, the data is divided by male/female and full-time/part-time.  In the third graph, the data is show by age group and full-time/part-time.

£7 per hour is roughly two-thirds of UK median hourly earnings and is commonly used as a threshold when analysing low pay.

The data source for all the graphs is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and the data is for 2008.  Note that the data used in the graphs is not publicly available and has to be requested.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  ASHE is a large annual survey of employers but sample sizes limit some of the analyses.