Northumberland women 'work for free' because of pay gap

The pay gap between men and women in Northumberland means female employees will effectively work months for free this year, new figures suggest.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 12:27 pm
Gender pay gap action call

Campaigners have called on the Government to act on the gender pay gap after data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that as of April, women workers in the area were paid an average of £11.38 an hour while their male peers received £13.77 – a 17% gap.

Over the course of the working year, that means, in effect, women in the area will have worked without pay since October 29.

Nationally, the female workforce is paid a median hourly rate of £12.92 – 15% less than the £15.27 hourly wage earned by men.

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For full-time workers, the gap is almost eight per cent.

Felicia Willow, interim CEO of gender equality charity The Fawcett Society, called for "bold action" from the Government, adding: "Gender pay gap reporting has been effective in getting big employers to act, but we want to see the Government requiring mandatory action plans from employers to tackle this gap and share the data.”

Sophi Berridge, from The Equality Trust, which campaigns to reduce income inequality, said: "During the pandemic, women were more likely to be furloughed, made redundant, struggle with childcare and take on home-schooling and care work.

"The gender pay gap indicates there remains a continuing and pressing problem."

A spokeswoman for the Government's Equality Hub said: “We are committed to making work-places more equal to allow everyone to reach their potential."