Economy

The gender pay gap is largely a myth

The gender pay gap is largely a myth

The gap is wider for women in their 50s, at 18.6 per cent, but has significantly grown among women in their twenties - from 1.1 per cent in 2011 to 5.5 per cent this year, said the society.

'The work women do, the industries they work in, and the caring responsibilities they generally shoulder are not valued by our society - not enough to pay them a fair wage. Today they are encouraging people across the United Kingdom to pledge to do their bit to tackle unequal pay - whether that's workers starting a conversation with colleagues or companies and Government making tangible changes.

Where Is This "Pay Gap"?

Chief executive Sam Smethers said: "The pay gap is widest for older women as it grows over our working lives but we are now seeing a widening of the pay gap for younger women too, which suggests we are going backwards and that is extremely worrying".

To mark Equal Pay Day on 10 November - the day in the year when women start to work "for free" - campaign group the Fawcett Society released research indicating that it would take 100 years to close the gender pay gap at the current rate.

When this is measured across a calendar year, it means Equal Pay Day is the day where women effectively stop being paid a salary, relative to men. It is lowest in Wales, at 8.3 per cent, and the North East, at 10.2 per cent.

Report - If any roles are found to entail equal work, then at least annual reporting should be set up to compare the average salaries of men and of women in equal roles.

"I believe I am paid less than all the men in my team".

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"Monitoring your gender pay gap may seem like another piece of hard or even unnecessary bureaucracy", sums up Haynes, "but it shouldn't be too hard an exercise to carry out".

"Instead of requiring women to sue their employers when they're getting paid less, which was the flawed model of the equal pay legislation because it puts the onus on the woman, the new model we're putting in our Bill is that the State requires employers to publish anonymised pay data".

What Can Be Done?

"We have secured a commitment from the BBC to address the cases that NUJ members have brought forward - we are clear that in the course of pursuing these cases, industrially or through litigation, that we will not tolerate inequality and unequal pay".

The UK Government have in recent years indicated a willingness to deal with discrimination in the workplace through the Equality Act 2010, and more recently a requirement for some companies to publicly disclose data on their own gender pay gaps, with the hopes of "shaming" employers into paying equally.

We see fairly sizeable regional variations as well. But the job won't be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally in every workplace'.

The campaign for equal pay among BBC presenters could help trigger an avalanche of similar claims, according to leading provider of legal services and advice to businesses, ARAG, following this summer's Supreme Court ruling on employment tribunal fees.


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