4th November 2014
From today, women are effectively working the rest of the year for free when you take into account the gender pay gap between male and female employees.
Full-time working women earn 15.7% less than men, which is equivalent to an average pay gap of £5,200 per year and the divide is widening, according to figures from the TUC.
Male employees in full-time roles are twice as likely as women to earn £50,00 per year as one in seven take home this wage compared to one in 15 women.
For every £1 earned by a male worker, a woman earns just 81p.
It takes the average woman almost 20 years longer than the average man to earn £1 million.
Today has been dubbed Equal Pay Day because it is the point in the year when women effectively stop getting paid, as compared to what men earn year-round. This point is three days earlier than it was in 2013.
Research published last week by the World Economic Forum revealed that the UK has fallen out of the top 20 most gender-equal countries in the world for the first time after women’s incomes fell by £2,700 over the past year.
The UK is now behind Nicaragua, Bulgaria and Burundi for women having an equal chance of a good education, career and health.
Tomorrow is the opening night for the musical version of Made in Dagenham, the story of women workers at the Ford factory who campaigned for equal pay in the 1968, leading to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.
Female staff at Asda, who work primarily in front-of-store roles are currently campaigning to receive back-dated pay equal to that of warehouse staff, who are mainly men, but the supermarket disputes the claims.
The TUC wants employers to be made to carry out regular gender pay audits, publish information on pay gaps and take action to close them.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Four decades on from the Equal Pay Act women are still losing out on pay and career opportunities.
“It feels like the glass ceiling is getting stronger not weaker and we need a much tougher approach to stop future generations of women from suffering this pay penalty. Companies must be held more accountable for how they pay their staff and made to publish information.
“The government must also tackle the problem of poverty pay which is another reason for the gender pay gap. Ministers need to take a serious look at why so many jobs in Britain pay so little when employers can easily afford to pay staff more.”