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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Calls to close gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day

New calls have been made to close the gender pay gap, after shocking new stats were revealed.

To mark Equal Pay Day 2022, the Fawcett Society has released new data which reveals that during 2022 women will, on average, take home £564 less than men each month – up from £536 in 2021.

The report says that women face more trouble due to the combined impact of the cost-of-living crisis and the difference in their pay compared with men.

Lack of options

A third of women surveyed said they’d like to work more paid hours but are unable to because of a local of flexible working options, caring responsibilities or affordable childcare.

One parent said: “The additional money would make a HUGE difference. It would mean I could stop my second job resulting in more time spent with my young family and husband. It would alleviate a huge pressure and stop me being so exhausted from working two jobs alongside being the primary care giver for my children aged 3 and 5.”

More than half (53%) of women would use the additional money to turn on heating and lights more often, and 48% report that their mental health would improve.

“Impossible choices”

Jemima Olchawski, Fawcett Society chief executive, said: “It is unacceptable that the gender pay gap has barely shifted in the past few years, especially given the cost-of-living crisis is hitting women the hardest and forcing them to make impossible choices.

“Our poll shows many women are struggling to pay their household bills – with women of colour even worse hit.

“Closing the gender pay gap would make an immediate difference to women, alleviating the financial and mental health burdens they face.

“We need urgent action to put women’s equality at the heart of our economic recovery. This government should make flexible work the default with a requirement for jobs to be advertised as flexible upfront, to enable more women to work.

“We need mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and action plans, and we need employers to stop asking discriminatory salary history questions.  Women can’t afford to wait any longer for the gap to close.”

Effectively working for free

The Fawcett Society said that from yesterday (Sunday 20th) women effectively work for free for the rest of the year because of the pay gap, which it said was 11.3%.

The government had said it would offer target support worth £26 billion to protect from the worst of cost-of-living pressures and pursue other initiatives to support women in the workplace.

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