November 10, 2017

Equal Pay Day: UK women “effectively stop earning” from today

Equal Pay Day: UK women “effectively stop earning” from today

Women in the UK will theoretically work for free relative to men for the rest of the year due to the gender pay gap.

Equal Pay Day is highlighted each year by campaign group the Fawcett Society, and reflects the pay gap between men and women who work full time. The mean average gap now stands at 14.1% and will take another 100 years to close if the current rate of progress continues, according to the Fawcett Society.

Figures released today reveal that the situation is worsening for young women after years of improvement, with the gap now five times wider than it was six years ago for women in their 20s. Therefore, some women are starting their careers with lower pay than their male counterparts as well as being subject to a growing gap as they get older.

Campaigners have been encouraging workers to make tangible changes in the workplace through the hashtag #paygappledge. The Women’s Equality Party have also campaigned for women to send “out-of-office” emails in protest at effectively not being paid for the rest of 2017.

The UK Government introduced transparency regulations earlier this year, meaning that all employers with over 250 staff must publish information on their gender pay gap by April 2018. However, only 85 of over 9,000 companies required to publish data had done so by October.

Increasing women’s lifetime labor force participation is key to achieving wage parity, according to Solomon W. Polachek. He suggests that “effective policies to speed up wage convergence should involve government actions to stimulate a further rise in women’s lifetime work.” Policies could include “repealing marriage taxes [to] increase women’s incentives to invest in education and training, and better enable women to climb the corporate job ladder. Promoting high-quality day care would do the same.”

Read more articles about the gender divide.

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