'Progress made' on closing gender pay gapFemale workers have seen a fairer wage system develop over the past 40 years, but a UK body has warned that the elimination of a gender pay differential is a long way off.

A spokesperson for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) commented that despite girls achieving better results than boys in education over the last ten years, this has not translated into parity in the workplace.

She argued that only by lifting the secrecy surrounding salaries and placing greater value on the work done by women can the gap be closed.

However, a poll published by Grazia magazine found that 50 per cent of women were now earning a similar or greater pay packet than their partners.

The TUC spokesperson suggested that the recession meant many females had to assume the role as main breadwinner in some households and the organisation is calling for flexible hours and family work rights to better reflects this change.

By Colette Paxton