Gender pay gap lowest on record

From: Scottish Government
Published: Mon Nov 06 2023

Difference in wages narrower in Scotland than UK as a whole.

Fair Work Secretary Neil Gray has welcomed figures showing the gender pay gap in Scotland has fallen to a record low.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings shows the gender pay gap in Scotland fell from 3% in 2022 to 1.7% in 2023 - the lowest since the series began in 1997. At the same time, the gap increased from 7.6% to 7.7% in the UK as a whole.

The ONS survey also shows full-time women's weekly pay in Scotland rose 10.6% over the year - the largest annual increase of the 12 countries and regions of the UK.

Wages for full-time employees rose higher in Scotland with median weekly pay increasing 9.7% over the year to hit £702.80 in 2023. The UK-wide figure was up 6.2% to £681.70.

The ONS survey was published ahead of Living Wage Week, which highlights its benefits to businesses, employees and the economy. In Scotland in 2022, 91% of over-18s were paid at least the real Living Wage - the highest rate of the four nations in the UK.

The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to improve women's access to the workforce, including a series of actions to support women in entrepreneurship and expanded access to funded childcare for low-income families.

Fair Work Secretary Neil Gray recently said:

“This survey shows Scotland continues to have a lower gender pay gap than the UK as a whole, which is welcome, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

“While employment law is reserved to the UK Government, the Scottish Government is committed to improving workers' rights and conditions through our Fair Work approach, and encourage all employers to take action to tackle gender pay gaps in Scotland.

“Our National Strategy for Economic Transformation sets out a programme of action for a fairer and more equal society, including for employers to pay at least the real Living Wage and address pay and employment gaps - vital in tackling the cost of living crisis and in-work poverty, issues that can have a disproportionate effect on women.

“It is only with the powers of an independent nation that we can use all the levers other governments have to tackle poverty and inequalities.”


Annual survey of hours and earnings: 2023 - (

Employee Earnings in the UK: 2023 - Office for National Statistics (

The gender pay gap quoted is calculated as the difference between the median hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for full-time men and women as a proportion of the median hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for full-time men.

Earnings quoted are gross median weekly earnings for full-time employees.

The latest available statistics for those earning at least the real living wage are for 2022.

Company: Scottish Government

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