The gender pay gap is wider than previously thought, official Government figures have suggested.
The updated statistics from the Office for National Statistics puts the gap at 19.5 per cent, rather than the 18 per cent it had previously estimated.
It also suggested the gap has not been narrowing as quickly in the past six years as once believed.
Between 1998 and 2003 the gap narrowed by 1.7 percentage points, rather than the 2 percentage points previously published.
The adjusted ONS figures bring it closer to statistics published in June by salary survey organisation PayFinder.com.
These suggested the average pay gap was more like 24 per cent, with the widest differences found in the south east of England and Scotland.
Across the UK the gap had stretched by 5 per cent in the previous 12 months, PayFinder estimated.
But before women workers go rushing off to their bosses demanding a pay rise, other surveys are painting a more contradictory picture.
A study in September by the Chartered Management Institute and Remuneration Economics suggested women's earnings were growing faster than their male counterparts.
Its annual National Management Salary Survey of 21,987 people showed an average salary rise of 5 per cent for female managers.
Male managers, by comparison, were only awarded an average increase of 4.7 per cent the eighth successive year that female earnings growth had outperformed men. It meant that, at department manager level, the average female salary actually broke the gender gap, at £51,854 compared with £50,459.