Low Pay

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 4th May 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) women and (b) men had earnings below the lower earnings limit in each of the last five years.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated April 2011

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many (a) women and (b) men had earnings below the lower earnings limit in each year of the last five years. (53842)

Levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay, whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. ASHE methodology cannot be used to provide estimates of the numbers of employees whose earnings is less than a specific amount, but can be used to provide estimates of percentage of employees in that category. Estimates are for single jobs and not for total employment earnings.

The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a sample of all employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes.

I attach a table showing the percentage of female and male UK employees earning below the lower earnings limit for the years 2006-2010.

Percentage of United Kingdom employee jobs (1) earning below the lower earnings limit
    All employees Full-time employees Part-time employees
Lower earnings limit (£ per week) Male Female Male Female Male Female
2006 84 3.2 10.0 <0.1 <0.1 28.4 24.0
2007 87 3.1 9.9 <0.1 <0.1 27.3 23.5
2008 90 3.3 10.2 <0.1 <0.1 28.0 24.4
2009 95 3.6 10.5 <0.1 <0.1 29.0 24.8
2010 97 3.9 10.6 <0.1 <0.1 30.2 24.9
(1) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. As at April each year. Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.

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