Pay gap sees the average female employee work for free for two months per year

The average female employee works for free for the equivalent of two months per year due to the UK’s gender pay gap, according to analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The research, released on Women’s Pay Day today (4 March 2020), the date on which female employees start getting paid compared to their male counterparts, also found that, despite progress in closing the gender pay gap, women receive on average 17% less than men in the UK, and work the equivalent of 63 days for free.

The analysis also found that the largest gender pay gap, of 33.7%, is in the financial and insurance industries, where female employees for more than a third of the year (123 days) for free.

Northern Ireland has a gender pay gap of 10.1%, with women working for 37 days for free, while Scotland and Wales have pay gaps of 14.3% and 14.5%, with women working 52 and 53 days for free, respectively.

In the education field, the gender pay gap is 25.4%, or 93 days, while in professional, scientific and technical jobs, the average woman must wait 88 days.

The TUC estimates that at the current rate of improvement, it will take until 2067 to overcome pay gaps and achieve pay parity between men and women.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary at the TUC, said: “Our economy is stacked against working women. At this rate, it will take another 50 years to close the gender pay gap. No more excuses: government must get on and sort the gender pay gap now.

“Just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t enough. [Employers] must be required to explain what steps they’ll take to close their gender pay gaps, and bosses who don’t comply with the law should be fined.

“And employers must do more to help women balance family responsibilities and work. Flexible working should be a day one right for everyone at work.

“Every year, unions help thousands of women get the pay they deserve. And workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family-friendly policies and fair pay. That’s why every woman should be in a union.”