Pay gap means women now working for free until new year

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Pay gap means women now working for free until new year

Today is Equal Pay Day - the date on which women in the United Kingdom effectively start working for free, a full 51 days before the end of the year.

The date has remained the same for the last three years, which the Fawcett Society says shows the lack of progress on tackling the gap, and that it will take another 100 years to gain equal pay at the current rate.

On the other hand, UK's leader of the Women's Equality Party Sophie Walker described the importance of equal pay and said that the gender pay gap usually triggers sexual harassment, including scandals in the entertainment industry as well as in politics.

The BBC recently commissioned a report into pay differences throughout the Corporation which revealed a gender pay gap of 9.3%, roughly half the national average, caused by underrepresentation of women in senior positions rather than a widespread failure to pay people equally for doing the same or equivalent work. As it happens, Northern Ireland is the only region with a negative pay gap: -3.4 per cent. It is lowest in Wales, at 8.3 per cent, and the North East, at 10.2 per cent.

It said those in their 20s were now suffering a 5.5% shortfall this year - up from 1.1% in 2011. There is a huge generational gap included in this, as the gap for women in their 30s (6.7%) is vastly smaller than for women in their 40s (17.1%).

Report - If any roles are found to entail equal work, then at least annual reporting should be set up to compare the average salaries of men and of women in equal roles.

Why Is There A Pay Gap?

Nearly a third (32%) of women who work part-time earn less than the £10,000 qualifying earnings threshold and are missing out on valuable employer contributions.

They also list unequal care responsibilities as a factor, citing ECHR research which suggests 54,000 mothers a year are forced to leave work early as a result of pregnancy. This study also suggests there is an inverse effect on men with children - a "daddy pay bonus" of 21%.

"Government should require employers to make every job a flexible working job, unless there is a good business reason not to".

"Deloitte estimates that the gender pay gap will be eradicated by the year 2069".

What Can Be Done?

Evidence from the United States suggests that when you further account for such variables, the gender pay gap nearly completely disappears.

The government is also encouraging companies to publish an "action plan" alongside their figures, outlining steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

'We represent the women who are being paid unfairly and often not being paid at all - either for their domestic labour or care duties - or because they have been fired for getting pregnant. This inequality carries through to later life, as women's retirement prospects are generally worse than men's. Equal Pay and the gender pay gap aren't actually the same thing, but they are two signs of the same coin (sorry).

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