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Gender pay gap means women work for free for nearly two months of the year

New TUC analysis reveals Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man – is today (Friday)

  • In parts of the country where the gender pay gap is wider, women work for free for longer. And in finance and insurance, women wait until 27 April for their Women’s Pay Day 
  • TUC calls on ministers to boost rights to flexible working, and for cash injection for childcare sector 

The average woman effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man, according to analysis published by the TUC today (Friday). 

The gender pay gap for all employees is 15.4 per cent. This pay gap means that women wait 56 days before they start to get paid on Women’s Pay Day today. 

Industrial gender pay gaps 

Despite the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, the analysis published by the TUC today shows that there are still big gender pay gaps in many industries. 

Even in jobs that tend to be dominated by female workers like education and social care the gender pay gap persists. 

In these sectors women get paid much less per hour on average than men, both because they are more likely to be in part-time jobs or are in lower-paid roles.  

  • In education the gender pay gap is 25.4 per cent, so the average woman effectively works for free for more than a quarter of the year (93 days) and has to wait until Saturday 2 April 2022 before she starts getting paid compared to the average man. 
  • In health care and social work jobs, where the gender pay gap is 18.3 per cent, the average woman waits 67 days for her Women’s Pay Day on Monday 7 March 2022. 

The longest wait for Women’s Pay Day comes in finance and insurance. The gender pay gap (32.3 per cent) is the equivalent of 118 days, meaning it’s nearly a third of the year before Women’s Pay Day finally kicks in on 27 April 2022. 

Generational gender pay gaps 

The TUC analysis shows that the gender pay gap is widest for older women, so they have to wait longer for their Women’s Pay Day. 

  • Women aged between 40 and 49 have a pay gap of 21.3 per cent and work for free until Friday 18 March 2022. 
  • And women aged 50 and 59 have the highest gender pay gap (21.8 per cent). They work 80 days of the year for free before they are paid on Sunday 20 March 2022. 

Regional gender pay gaps 

The analysis also shows that in some parts of the country gender pay gaps are even bigger, so their Women’s Pay Day is later in the year. 

  • The gender pay gap is largest in the south east (18.9 per cent). Women in this region work 69 days for free and their pay day isn’t until Wednesday 9 March. 
  • And women in the south west (16.6 per cent) and the east midlands (16.8 per cent pay gap) have to wait until next week (Tuesday 1 March and Wednesday 2 March) for their pay days. 

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, says the TUC. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“It’s shocking that working women still don’t have pay parity. At current rates of progress, it will take nearly 30 more years to close the gender pay gap. 

“It’s clear that just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t enough. Companies must be required to explain what steps they’ll take to close their gender pay gaps – and bosses who don’t comply with the law should be fined. 

“The last two years have shown us that employers can do more to help women balance caring responsibilities and work. Flexible working is vital to mums keeping their jobs and progressing at work and is our best chance of closing the gender pay gap. 

“All jobs must be advertised with the possible flexible options clearly stated, and all workers must have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job.” 

Childcare and parental leave 

Frances added:

“The gender pay gap widens dramatically once women become mums. We need more funding for affordable, good quality childcare to support working parents – along with better wages and recognition for childcare workers. 

“And both parents need to be able to share childcare more easily. Without better rights to well-paid leave, mums will continue to take on the lion-share of caring responsibilities – and continue to take a financial hit. 

“We need a complete overhaul of the shared parental leave system. It's not an affordable option for most working families. Dads need leave they can take in their own right. It shouldn't rely on mums giving up some of their maternity leave.”

Click here for the full press release


Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/gender-pay-gap-means-women-work-free-nearly-two-months-year

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