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

  • 23 Feb 2023

The average woman in paid employment effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man in paid employment, a TUC analysis has revealed

In parts of the country and in some industries where the gender pay gap is wider, women effectively work for free for even longer, said the report. The TUC called on ministers to boost rights to flexible working, and for cash injection for childcare sector

The gender pay gap for all employees currently stands at 14.9 per cent. This means that working women must wait 54 days – nearly eight weeks, or two months – before they stop working for free on Women’s Pay Day, this year Thursday 23 February.

The gender pay gap is widest for older women, so they have to wait longer for their Women’s Pay Day. Women aged between 50 and 59 have the highest pay gap (20.8 per cent) and work the equivalent of 76 days for free, until Thursday 16 March. Women aged 60 and over have a gender pay gap of 18.4 per cent. They work 67 days of the year for free before they stop working for free on Wednesday 8 March.

The gender pay gap widens once a woman becomes a mother. And older women take a financial hit for balancing work alongside caring for older relatives as well as children and grandchildren, says the TUC. 

Paul Nowak, TUC General Secretary, said: 

“Working women deserve equal pay. But at current rates of progress, it will take more than 20 years to close the gender pay gap. “That's just not good enough. We can’t consign yet another generation of women to pay inequality. It’s clear that just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t working. Companies must be required to publish action plans to explain what steps they’ll take to close their pay gaps. And bosses who don’t comply with the law should be fined. We should change the law so that all jobs are advertised with all the possible flexible options clearly stated. And all workers must have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job.”

Full press release

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