Save, make, understand money


Women ‘work for free’ for two months of the year

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Today marks the point where the average female gets paid for the first time this year, compared to men.

Women’s Pay Day this year falls on 4 March, meaning they effectively work for free for two months of the year, compared to the average man.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said that in some parts of the UK, the gender pay gap is wider so women work free for longer.

Overall, the average gender pay gap for all employees is 17.3%, which equates to women waiting 63 days before getting paid for their work.

The organisation found in typically female dominated industries such as education and social care, the gender pay gap persists. This is because women get paid less per hour on average than men as they’re more likely to be in part-time jobs or are in lower-paid roles.

In education the gender pay gap stands at 25.4% so the average women works for free for 93 days of the year, waiting until 2 April before getting paid, compared to the average man.

In professional, scientific and technical jobs, the average woman waits 88 days for her Women’s Pay Day on 28 March 2020.

However, for women working in finance and insurance, the wait is longer. Here it’s the equivalent of working for free for 123 days, getting paid from 3 May onwards.

Regionally, women in the South East suffer more with a 20.5% gender pay gap, so they’re only paid from 15 March. At the other end of the scale, women in Northern Ireland fare ‘better’ with a 10.1% gender pay gap, meaning they were paid for work from 6 February.

‘Another 50 years to close the gender pay gap’

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, 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. Companies 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.”