Last week we issued a press release based on research into the earnings of Parasol career contractors.

To produce the research, we analysed the average contract hourly rate of thousands of our employees across the country, looking at how those rates have changed over the past year.

We uncovered some fascinating trends, most notably regarding the pay gap that has traditionally existed between men and women.

Our research revealed that:

  • Between October 2011 and October 2012, the gap in the average contract hourly rate of men and women was cut from £2.88 to just £1.14
  • Nationally, the average female contractor now earns £29.86 an hour, compared to £31 for men
  • That equates to an average salary of £58,227 for women and £60,430 for men – a gap of just £2,203
  • In the North East, South West and Scotland a ‘reverse pay gap’ is emerging, with some women earning nearly £4 an hour more than men
  • Female contractors in the South West now get paid an average of £35.22 an hour, compared to £31.47 for men
  • Even in areas where men’s earnings still outstrip those of women, such as the Midlands, London and the South East, the gender gap has closed significantly over the past 12 months
This table illustrates how pay rates differ for male and female contractors in various parts of the UK:


 Average contract hourly rate
 Sex  Region   2011  2012
 Female  EAST MIDLANDS   £19.72  £20.88
 GREATER LONDON  £35.23  £32.86
 NORTH EAST  £30.38  £29.61
 NORTH WEST  £26.93  £24.87
 NORTHERN IRELAND  £24.27  £12.18
 SCOTLAND  £30.08  £31.96
 SOUTH EAST  £32.23  £32.26
 SOUTH WEST  £30.25  £35.22
 WALES  £26.71  £29.59
 WEST MIDLANDS  £25.20  £26.75
 Female Total  £30.27  £29.86
 Male  EAST MIDLANDS  £27.54  £26.68
 GREATER LONDON  £37.70  £34.08
 NORTH EAST  £29.83  £27.61
 NORTH WEST  £28.73  £28.36
 NORTHERN IRELAND  £27.52  £13.03
 SCOTLAND  £29.97  £28.62
 SOUTH EAST  £37.07  £35.14
 SOUTH WEST  £33.75  £31.47
 WALES  £32.01  £33.49
 WEST MIDLANDS  £29.68  £29.72
 Male Total  £33.15  £31.00
 Grand Total  £32.35  £30.68


Parasol managing director Derek Kelly responded to the findings by saying: “After years of unequal pay, female contractors can now expect to be compensated fairly for their skills and expertise.”

Are you a career contractor? Do you believe that a gender pay gap still exists? How does your hourly rate compare to the averages outlined in the above table? Let us know by leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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