A new analysis of official figures finds that employees aged over 50 are most impacted by the gender pay gap – with the difference in salaries reaching almost 25 per cent.

Research undertaken by Rest Less, a jobs and advice site for people aged over 50, of ONS statistics reveal that full-time workers aged over 50 are most affected by the gender pay gap.

ONS statistics in 2020 revealed that the gender pay gap had fallen from 9 per cent in April 2019 to 7.4 per cent the following year for full-time employees.

Despite this, the analysis from Rest Less reveals that it is older workers who face the widest pay-gap. The research found that the median annual salary for women aged over 50 was almost a quarter less (23 per cent) than their male counterparts.

Additionally, this gap was proved to be worse for women over 60 who worked full time. This demographic earned 25 per cent less than male co-workers within the same age bracket, earning £23,902 on average in comparison to men’s average salary of £34,325.

According to the data, both men and women’s average earnings peak when they are in their 40s. Despite this, the average pay for women in this age bracket was  £31,403 whilst men earned £38,829 – a difference of almost a fifth (19 per cent).

When comparing the amount that women earn over the years, the analysis reveals there is a 9 per cent drop between what women earn in their 40s in contrast to their 50s. By the time a woman is in her 60s, the average salary was shown to be 24 per cent lower than the median earnings for women in their 40s.

Contrastingly, between the ages of 40 and 60, men face a 19 per cent drop in salary on average.

Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, said:

Women in their 50s and 60s face the double discrimination of age bias, combined with the widest gender pay gap of all ages, receiving a salary of £8,000 less per year than their male counterparts in full time employment.

Whilst the state pension age has now been equalised at 66 for both sexes, decades of a gender pay gap and the resulting wide gulf in private pension savings mean that the future retirement incomes of men and women remain far from equal.

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group, a company which works within the recruit, train and deploy sector, comments:

This new analysis highlights the harsh reality that is facing older women, with the retirement incomes of men and women still far from equal. Additionally, the drop in median earnings experienced by both men and women after their 40s will undoubtedly affect people’s retirement savings plans, and moving forward, it is important that organisations help employees as much as possible by providing the support and initiatives that will allow workers to save effectively for retirement regardless of what stage they’re in of their career.

Furthermore, it is essential to analyse the statistics from within and understand what it is that is preventing more women from progressing into senior roles. Once this is established, organisations can develop a strategy to increase opportunity for women and continually support them on their career paths.

*This research was obtained from Rest Less’ analysis of official ONS statistics. To calculate the gender pay gap, Rest Less utilised the median annual salary of full-time employees. This differs from the ONS’ method of calculating the gender pay gap as this was calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of men’s average hourly earnings (excluding overtime).