Living Articles

Happy equal pay day

From 9 November until the end of the year women are effectively working for free, given the size of the gender pay gap. Angry? Us too

• The gender pay gap is 19.1% for full and part-time work. (Government Equalities Office) At the current rate of progress it will take over 50 years to close the gap. (The Fawcett Society)

• Over 60% of those earning less than the living wage are women. (Resolution Foundation and IPPR)

• The difference in earnings between men and women is greater among higher earners. There is a pay gap of 55% for the top 2% of earners (for a man who earns £117,352 a year, a woman earns £75,745). In the top 10% of earners the pay gap is 33.9% (for a man who earns £60,177 a year, a woman earns £44,939.) (TUC, November 2015)

• “One of the biggest drivers of gender pay discrepancy, especially at senior levels, is the bonus gap. Bonuses are also where gender bias can creep in easily as they are among the least transparent forms of pay,” says CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, Ann Francke.

• The worst two places in the UK to work part-time as a woman are Dwyfor Meirionnydd in Wales and Birmingham Northfield, where 79% and 78.9% of women part-timers are paid less than the living wage. In 130 constituencies, over half of women part-timers don’t earn the living wage. (TUC, August 2015)

• In a recent survey by The Fawcett Society: 1 in 10 of the women who had returned from maternity leave recently had been given a more junior role. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found around 54,000 women are forced to leave their job early every year as a result of poor treatment after they get pregnant or have a baby. (EHRC 2015 Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage First Findings: Surveys of Employers and Mothers, BIS Research paper No. 235)

• 78% of those working in health and social care, a low-paid sector, are women. (ONS, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014, Provisional Results, December 2014, EMP13). 88% of those working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries, a high-paying sector, are men. (Women’s Budget Group, The impact on women of the Autumn Financial Statement 2011, January 2012)

• Only 10% of workers in skilled trades are women. (Women in the Labour Market 2013, ONS)

• To take a company to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, discrimination or equal pay claims will cost you £1,200 in fees. (The Fawcett Society)

• In 2016, new regulations come in to force, requiring organisations with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap figure.

What can you do? Find out what your colleagues earn. Ask your employer if they know about mandatory gender pay reporting. Write to your MP and ask them how they are working to close the gender pay gap. Join a union.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #EqualPayDay

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