THE GENDER pay gap in the South East will not close until 2045, new research shows.

Analysis conducted by the Labour Party revealed that ten million women across the UK are now projected to work until retirement without seeing equal pay – up from 8.5 million a year ago.

The party has accused the gender pay gap closure of ‘significantly’ stalling under Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

Regional breakdown of the figures shows that in the South East the gap will not close for another 25 years.

This means that an 18-year-old woman entering employment in the region today will have to wait until she is 43 before the gender pay gap closes.

Oxford East MP, Anneliese Dodds, who is also Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, accused the Tories of ‘failing an entire generation of women in the South East’.

She added: "Women in Oxford will find it absurd that the gender pay gap isn’t projected to close in the South East until 2046.

“The Conservative Government should be taking action to close the gender pay gap. Instead, it’s standing by while progress has gone into reverse, with women in the South East facing a 25 year-wait just to be paid what a man does for the same work.

“It’s clear that the Conservatives are failing an entire generation of women in the South East.

"Labour would take urgent action to close the gender pay gap by giving women the ability to compare their salaries with men doing the same job in a different firm and forcing employers to bring forward plans to eradicate pay gaps.”

Over the pandemic, the gender pay gap widened - increasing by 13 per cent between April 2020 and April 2021.

Factors contributing to this included women being more likely to be furloughed, more like to lose income to home-schooling, and more likely to work in sectors that are expected to see the slowest economic recovery from the crisis.