Gardener gender pay gap among the widest

Gardeners (17.2%) are among the trades likely to have the most notable pay gaps.

Office for National Statistics data has shown large differences between male and female pay in the trade sector and which professions have the biggest gender pay gaps.

Using data from the ONS,, found that on average a male gardener makes £18,263 a year and the average female £15,582, a difference of £2,681 or 17%.

By comparison, a carpenter in the UK takes home an average yearly net salary of £22,072, 74.7% higher than the average net wage of a female carpenter of just £12,632.

Male painters picked up an average net wage of £20,607 a year, 44.1% more than their female counterparts who make £14,304.

The wage paid to male cleaners was also amongst some of the biggest tradesperson gender pay gaps at 39% and while electricians as a whole are amongst some of the highest-paid across the nation, male electricians are paid £26,118 a month, 28.7% more than female electricians.  

While pay is one issue for females within the trades sector, the lack of female tradespeople, to begin with, is also apparent, with no salary data recorded for many regions of the UK because ONS were unable to gather a large enough sample to start with.

A survey carried out by the Ornamentals Roundtable into skills shortages found men make up 60% of horticulture workers, with 80% in arboriculture, 76% in landscaping, 53% in ornamental production, 56% in parks and gardens and 46% in garden retail.

In 2018, new laws meant companies with more than 250 staff had to publish gender pay gaps, with some garden centres having 15% differences.

Ahead of 12 December's election, the Labour Party has pledged to close the gender pay gap difference in hourly earnings between men and women by 2030.

The difference between men's and women's average pay would take another 60 years to close under a Conservative government, the party said.  The Conservative Party said the pay gap was at a record low and that there had been "huge progress since 2010" in terms of the number of women in work.

The Fawcett Society said it would take until almost 2080 for the gender pay gap to close at the current rate. The Trades Union Congress puts that at about 35 years.

As well as the new 2030 pay gap target, Labour manifesto commitments include introducing a "real living wage" of £10 per hour and creating a Worker's Protection Agency with HMRC with powers to fine organisations that fail to report gender pay.

Labour said the new agency would certify firms with more than 250 employees (lowered to 50 by the end of 2020) were meeting gender equality criteria on recruitment, career progression, pay and work-life balance.

It will also extend maternity pay from nine to 12 months and introduce free childcare for two to four-year-olds.

November 14 is Equal Pay Day. Women start 'working for free' in comparison to men from this day when average annual salaries are analysed.

#New ONS figures show for the last quarter:

  • All of the economic well-being measures, including real household income, spending and financial wealth per head, grew in the three months to June 2019 compared with the same quarter last year.
  • In terms of how we are feeling about our lives, average anxiety ratings increased in Quarter 2 2019 compared with the same quarter last year, while average ratings of life satisfaction, perceptions that the things we do in life are worthwhile, and happiness remained unchanged.
  • The proportion of people reporting levels of high anxiety in Quarter 2 2019 was 21.2%, which was an increase of 1.7 percentage points compared with the same quarter last year.
  • In the quarter ending June 2019, the household debt to income ratio increased, driven by the value in outstanding long-term loans such as mortgages.
  • Although people’s views of their own personal finances remained positive, expectations for both the general economic outlook and concerns about unemployment in the year ahead worsened compared with the same quarter last year.

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