27 Oct 2017Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the gender pay gap for full-time employees has 'fallen to its lowest level' since records began. According to the latest figures, the gender pay gap for such workers fell from 9.4% in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017. This constitutes the lowest pay gap since records began in 1997, when it stood at 17.4%. However, the gender pay gap for the entire UK workforce currently stands at 18.4%, up from 18.2% in 2016. Commenting on the issue, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘The full-time gender pay gap has inched a bit smaller. But there is still a chasm between men and women's earnings. 'At this rate, it’ll take decades for women to get paid the same as men. 'The government needs to crank up the pressure on employers. Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gaps. They should be forced to explain how they’ll close them.' From 6 April 2017, businesses with more than 250 employees have been required by law to begin calculating their gender pay gap. Businesses and charities must publish their gender pay gap data on their website by 4 April each year, and public sector organisations must publish their pay gap by 30 March every year. Companies with fewer than 250 employees can opt to publish their gender pay gap data voluntarily, but they are not obliged to do so.