Millwall football club pay men 80% more than women. While female staff at Ryanair take home 72% less than their male colleagues. And in the UK, on average, men earn 18% more than women*.

This is the gender pay gap – the difference between men and women’s average earnings. Find out more about what it is and how it happens in ‘The Issue’ tab below.

UK organisations with 250 or more employees are now legally obliged to publish their gender pay gap data. This means we can track how seriously employers are taking it and work with them to make our workplaces more equal.

This is why UNISON is leading a nationwide campaign to #BridgeTheGap. UNISON represents over one million women, making us the largest women’s organisation in the UK.

Get involved

Watch the presentation and find out how you can take some practical steps to make your workplace more equal.

Bridge the gap online activist tool by UNISON

A how-to guide and detailed guidance can be ordered from our Online Catalogue or downloaded from the ‘Resources’ section below. This will help activists to build a productive conversation with your employer.

Help us make the campaign visible and keep the pressure on by using the graphics from the ‘Resources’ section. Use them online, in social media posts or place them around your workplace.

*According to Office for National Statistics published in April 2017.


Women working in a call centre

Pay gap proposals will force bosses to act

Commenting on Labour plans published today (Wednesday) to eliminate the gender pay gap by 2030, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Public shaming hasn’t proved enough to curtail unequal pay so far. “Proper enforceable sanctions and a clear end date will force reluctant bosses to be transparent and stop the disparity. “Women have been failed in the workplace for too long so these commitments are long overdue.” Notes to […]

Bridging the gender pay gap

With more than one million women members representing 80% of the union, conference hears how UNISON is at the forefront of the campaign to eradicate the gender pay gap

Blog: It’s time to Bridge the Gap

It will take all of us who care about equality and fairness playing our part to overturn these structural inequalities in our society. Yet the work our union and others have done already shows we can achieve real change.

Gender pay gap still a problem, delegates hear

Local government conference debates measures to tackle the issue, as the pay gap and the glass ceiling still exist

♡ UNISON: because we fight for equal pay

‘Work with us, in partnership with employers rather than as adversaries, to close the gender pay gap’

The issue

The gender pay gap is the difference between men and women’s average earnings.

How does the gender pay gap happen?

Discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions plays a large part. Men tend to take up the majority of more senior roles. Women’s time out to have and care for children impacts their career progression. Plus women are still more likely to work in lower-paid and lower-skilled jobs – 62% of those earning less than the living wage are female, according to the Living Wage Foundation.

So, why isn’t it the same as equal pay?

The gender pay gap should not be confused with equal pay – paying men and women the same for doing the same job has been a legal requirement since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. Unfortunately not all employers comply and many instances of people being paid unequally for equivalent work still occurs in the UK – and this can contribute to certain organisations gender pay gap. However it is not the same as it.

How does the public sector stand up?

It varies. But in more than 60% of councils and 9 out of 10 NHS Trusts, male staff are paid more than women. 4 NHS Trusts and 15 councils pay men more than 20% more than female staff. One University pays male staff nearly 40% more than female staff.

Find out how your employer stacks up here 

When do employers have to publish?

By 4 April for the private sector, or 30 March for the public sector.

Why is this such an important campaign for UNISON?

UNISON’s assistant general secretary Christina McAnea explains.