TUC: Gender pay gap means women effectively work for free for more than two months of year

6 Mar 2019 01:36 PM

Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man – is today (Wednesday 6 March)

Analysis published by the TUC today (Wednesday) reveals that 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. 

The current gender pay gap for all employees stands at 17.9%. This pay gap means that women effectively work for free for the first 65 days of the year, until they begin to get paid on Women’s Pay Day today. 

Regional gender pay gaps 

The analysis published yesterday – which is also the first day of the TUC’s annual women’s conference in London – 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. 

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. 

Industrial gender pay gaps 

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.  

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday 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.  

“Making employers publish information on their gender pay gaps is a start but it’s nowhere near enough.  Employers must be legally required to explain how they’ll tackle pay inequality at their workplaces and advertise jobs on a more flexible basis. 

“Women in the UK will only start to get paid properly when part-time jobs are better-paid and jobs are flexible from day one. And we need higher wages in key sectors like social care.  

“Workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family-friendly policies and fair pay. So a good first step for women worried about their pay is to join a union.” 

Editors note

What is Women’s Pay Day?