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Fewer than half the UK’s biggest employers have succeeded in narrowing their gender pay gap, analysis by the BBC has found. Across 45% of firms the discrepancy in pay increased in favour of men, while at a further 7% there was no change.

Overall, 78% of companies had a pay gap in favour of men, 14% favoured women and the rest reported no difference. Firms had until midnight to file pay comparison data – by which time 10,428 had done so – or face legal action.

The total is roughly the same as last year, but it is unclear how many firms have failed to respond, since the government has no definitive list of companies required to file figures.

Overall, the median pay gap in favour of men lowered slightly from 9.7% last year to 9.6% this year.

The median pay gap is calculated by comparing the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and middle-ranking man in the same companies.

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