Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Celebrate 'Equal Pay Day', reduce Gender Pay Gap

Celebrate 'Equal Pay Day', reduce Gender Pay Gap

Women in their 20s are earning less than men, and the gap is getting wider, according to figures released today.

The group dubbed Friday Equal Pay Day - the day in the year when women start to work for free because of the difference in the pay of men and women.

Fawcett claims it uses the mean to take "into account the fact that more men than women are earning higher wages at the top". And SNP MPs will call on the United Kingdom government to adopt the same procedures too.

"We need to change the way in way in which we're tackling the gender pay gap and that sort of wage survey and transparency is a better model".

Now has created a PR stunt that aims to drive conversation around the Gender Pay Gap and the work that the Women's Equality Party is doing to help make the need for an annual "Equal Pay Day" redundant.

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Even in 2017, the gender pay gap is so prevalent that from November 10 women are essentially working for free. The gender pay gap now stands at 14.1%, that's the same as it was in 2015 and 2016.

The group also said that although the gap is wider for women in their 50s, it is also growing among younger women from 1.1 per cent in 2011 to 5.5 per cent this year. 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%).

Why Is There A Pay Gap?

Where women do work - areas they can negotiate flexible working, school-friendly hours or reliable sickness and holiday cover as a result of their caring responsibilities - we value those sectors less, and pay correspondingly.

More broadly, The Fawcett Society suggest a "divided" labour market is partly to blame - citing evidence that women make up 80% of care and leisure workers, but only 8% of skilled trade jobs, which are more highly paid.

The UK ranks 20th out of 144 countries around the world for closing the gender pay gap, but no country on earth has absolute equality.

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What Can Be Done?

At Westminster, we support changing the law to require gender pay gap reporting for all companies with more than 150 employees - down from 250 - and the introduction of sanctions - including fines - for employers that fail to comply with the law.

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee said 'I will ensure the Government's strategy on reducing the gender pay gap properly focuses on those most affected - women aged over 40'.

We see fairly sizeable regional variations as well. But the job won't be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally in every workplace'.

'Equal pay is both a cause and effect of gender inequality and it creates the context for other inequalities, such as violence against women and girls and unequal access to health, ' the WEP adds.

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