‘Gender pay gap means women work for free for first months on the year’

The TUC has published new analysis on the gender pay gap for Women’s Pay Day.

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The average woman has to wait more than two months of the calendar year before she starts to get paid, compared to the average man, according to analysis published by the TUC for Women’s Pay Day – the time in the year when they start to be paid.

The current gender pay gap for all employees stands at 17.9%. The TUC analysis shows that in some parts of the country gender pay gaps are higher.

In the East of England the gender pay gap is 20.3%, so it says Women’s Pay Day in that part of the country won’t fall for another 9 days (Friday 15 March) and it adds that women in the South East (19.3% pay gap) and the East Midlands (19.2%) have to wait until Monday (11 March) for their Women’s Pay Day.

The TUC says regional variations in the gender pay gap are likely to be caused by differences in the types of jobs and industries that are most common in that part of the UK.

The analysis also shows that in a number of key industries – even in those dominated by female workers like education and social work – gender pay gaps are even bigger. In these sectors women get paid much less on average than men, both because they are more likely to be in part-time jobs and because they are in lower-paid roles.

In education the gender pay gap is currently 25.9%, so the average woman effectively works for free for more than a quarter of the year (95 days) and has to wait until the 4 April 2019 before she starts earning the same as the average man, says the TUC.

In information and communication, the average woman waits 77 days for her Women’s Pay Day on 18 March 2019.

The longest wait for Women’s Pay Day comes in finance and insurance, according to the analysis. The gender pay gap is the equivalent of 130 days, meaning its more than a third of the year before Women’s Pay Day finally kicks in on 10 May 2019.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:  “The UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe. Women effectively work for free for two months of the year – and at current rates of progress it’ll take another 60 years for this gap to close.”

She called for employers to be legally required to explain how they will tackle pay inequality at their workplaces and advertise jobs on a more flexible basis.

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