‘Pay gap means women work for free for over two months’

gender pay gap


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 by the TUC, published for International Women’s Day.

The current gender pay gap for full-time and part-time employees stands at 18.4%. This pay gap means that women effectively work for free for the first 67 days of the year, says the TUC.

It adds that in a number of industries – even in those dominated by female workers – gender pay gaps are even bigger, which means Women’s Pay Day is even later in the year:

  • In education the gender pay gap is currently 26.5%, so the average woman effectively works for free for more than a quarter of the year (97 days) and has to wait until the 7 April before she starts earning the same as the average man.
  • In health and social work, the average woman waits 69 days for her Women’s Pay Day on 10 March.
  • The longest wait for Women’s Pay Day comes in finance and insurance, says the TUC. There the gender pay gap is the equivalent of 130 days – more than a third of the year – before Women’s Pay Day finally kicks in on 10 May.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Nearly 50 years since the Ford machinists went on strike at Dagenham, the UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe. Women effectively work for free for two months a year.

“Companies publishing information on their gender pay gaps is a small step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near enough. Women in the UK will only start to get paid properly when we have better-paid part-time and flexible jobs. And higher wages in key sectors like social care.”

Agency Workers

Earlier this week, the TUC published a report on how some managers are undercutting pay through long-term use of agencies workers. It showed that 60%  of agency workers are being employed in the same role at the same workplace for more than a year. And that a third have been in the same role for over two years, with a sixth having been in the same role for more than five years,

The TUC says that many of these workers’ employers are deliberately paying them less than their permanent colleagues due to a loophole which allows bosses to pay agency staff less, even when they do identical roles to permanent colleagues.


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