Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings Patterns of Pay

28 February 2014

The Office for National Statistics has published the Patterns of Pay article which presents an analysis of UK earnings trends from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

ASHE is The Office for National Statistic’s (ONS) most detailed and comprehensive source of information on levels of earnings, make-up of total earnings and distribution of the earnings of employees. ASHE details analysis of trends in levels, distribution and make-up of earnings over time for UK employees by sex, full-/part-time status, public/private sector and region and covers years 1997 to 2013. Key points from the report show that:

  • Adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index, UK weekly earnings for full-time employees fell each year between 2008 and 2013.
  • Although there is a long-term downward trend in the gender pay gap for full-time employees (from 17.4% in 1997), there was an increase from 9.5% to 10.0% between 2012 and 2013.
  • The gender pay gap for full-time employees narrowed in all UK regions between 1997 and 2013, with by far the largest reduction in Northern Ireland (from 16.5% to -0.7%).
  • Each year between 1997 and 2013 the weekly pay for the highest full-time earners (at the 90th percentile) has consistently been around 3.5 times that of the lowest earners (10th percentile).
  • The proportion of overtime payments out of total weekly earnings for full-time employees has decreased in the long-term, reflecting a fall in overtime hours worked

You can view all the tables in the data section of the full report of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

CIPP comment

The TUC published an analysis of figures recently showing that the number of staff doing unpaid overtime has gone up in the public sector over the last decade, but has held steady in the private sector. The analysis was published ahead of Work Your Proper Hours Day (today 28 February) which is the day when those who do unpaid overtime would start to get paid if they did all their unpaid work at the start of the year. It comes as no surprise that the ASHE shows a fall in overtime payments.

The analysis also shows that unpaid overtime is more common in the public sector, with more than one in four public servants doing unpaid overtime compared to around one in six of workers in the private sector.

More than a quarter (27.4 per cent) of public sector staff did unpaid overtime of at least an hour a week in 2013, up from 24.8 per cent in 2003. The average amount of unpaid overtime done by these staff is 7 hours 42 minutes a week – 18 minutes less than in 2003.

According to the analysis the increase in unpaid overtime across the public sector over the last decade is almost entirely driven by more than a quarter of a million extra women doing hours for free.