This is why women still need Equal Pay Day

Laura Hampson
Getty Images
Getty Images

If you are a woman, today should be your last working day of the year as this is when you stop getting paid.

While many will claim that the gender pay gap is not a real thing, according to the World Economic Forum, there is no country in the world where women make as much as men for doing the same work.

It is especially prevalent in the UK. After new legislation was introduced last April, companies in the UK that had over 250 employees were required to report a gender pay gap - in 2019 this has shown that 80 per cent of big firms in the UK pay men more, on average, than women. The Fawcett Society – a UK society championing equal pay rights – reports that the latest Office for National Statistics data shows this gap to be 13.1 per cent.

Put plainly, the gender pay gap is the average difference between how much men and women make for doing the same job. Equal Pay Day attempts to highlight the gender pay gap and campaign for equal pay for equal work.

Today, November 14, is Equal Pay Day in Britain which means it is the date where women effectively begin to work for free and will continue to work for free for the rest of the year. While little progress has been made, the day falls four days later than last year when Equal Pay Day was November 10.

The World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Gender Gap Report predicted, at current rates, this gap would not be closed for another 170 years.

Gemma Rosenblatt, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Fawcett Society told the Standard: “The law states that women should be paid equally – but it doesn’t give women the right to access the information they need to make sure this happens. The law needs to change."

The gender pay gap differs between industries. According to research by the Chartered Management Institute, the average female manager gets paid £11,606 less each year than her male counterpart.

This data predicted a higher gender pay gap of 27 per cent – and that women are more likely to be in junior management roles in their company than men. Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of director-level positions are filled by men.

According to the Fawcett society, women in their 20s can expect to be paid 5.5 per cent less than men, a number that will reach 18.6 per cent by their 50s.

Rosenblatt continues: "If you earn less than £30k and suspect you are experiencing pay discrimination, you can contact the Equal Pay Advice Line, run by the Fawcett Society and YESS Law, for free legal advice."

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