Women ‘work for free for first two months of the year’ due to gender pay gap

Business News

Women effectively work for free for more than two months of the year because of the gender pay gap, new research suggests.

Wednesday 6 March has been dubbed Women’s Pay day by the TUC because of the 17.9 per cent discrepancy in average earnings with men.

The gender pay gap is wider in some parts of the country meaning the day falls later in the year, the TUC’s research found.

In the East of England the gender pay gap is 20.3 per cent while in the South East the it’s 19.3 per cent

A separate study showed that civil service departments with more female staff are paying less to workers doing the same job, than those with more male staff.

A civil service executive officer, in a majority male department is paid 13 per cent more than one in a majority female department, the union said.

The UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe and at the current rate of progress it will take another 60 years to achieve wage equality.  

“Making employers publish information on their gender pay gaps is a start, but it’s nowhere near enough,” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Employers must be legally required to explain how they’ll tackle pay inequality at their workplaces and advertise jobs on a more flexible basis.

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said requirements to publish genderpay gap data had forced more firms to take action on the issue.

“But we need a much wider cultural change to close it completely and are working with employers to achieve this.

“We have already introduced measures like shared parental leave and are developing a fresh strategy setting out how we plan to bring economic empowerment to all women throughout the UK.”

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