Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Women effectively work for free for more than two months of year

The average woman has to wait more than two months of the calendar year before she starts to get paid, compared to the average man, with the gap even wider in Swindon, according to new research from the Trades Union Congress.

The current gender pay gap for all employees stands at 17.9 percent, meaning that women effectively work for free for the first 65 days of the year, until they begin to get paid on Women’s Pay Day on March 6.

But in Swindon the gap is wider, and women effectively 'work for free' until March 14.

Women’s Pay Day also varies between industries. In transport and storage, the pay gap is 4.8 percent, meaning Women’s Pay Day falls on January 17.

But for women in finance and insurance, the gap is a whopping 35.7 percent and female colleagues effectively give an equivalent of 130 days of free labour compared to the men in the office. They can look forward to 'celebrating' Women’s Pay Day on May 10.

The TUC introduced Women’s Pay Day in 2017 to replace Equal Pay Day, the day of the year when the average woman stops being paid compared to the average man.

The overall gender pay gap is calculated using all median hourly pay, excluding overtime, for all male and female employees using the latest data.

The gender pay gap percentage (17.9 percent in the latest data) is then translated into days of the year (65 days) when women start earning the equivalent to men.

Nigel Costley, regional secretary of the TUC, said: "The South West has an even worse pay gap than the UK which still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe.

"Women effectively work for free for two months of the year – and at current rates of progress it’ll take another 60 years for this gap to close.

“Making employers publish information on their gender pay gaps is a start but it’s nowhere near enough. Employers must be legally required to explain how they’ll tackle pay inequality at their workplaces and advertise jobs on a more flexible basis."