According to a new analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the average women effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man. In other words, this is on average, a 15% gender pay gap.
The highest gap comes in the finance and insurance sectors, where the pay gap is 32%. Therefore the average woman effectively works for free for 118 days before she starts getting paid. Education saw the next biggest gap at 25%, or 93 days. In health care and social work, the gap is 18%, or 67 days.
Women between 40 and 49 have a pay gap of 21%, essentially working for free until 18 March 2022. Women aged 50 to 59 have the highest gender pay gap of 22%, working 80 days per year free.
The gender pay gap is highest in the south east of England at 19%, with women in this region working 69 days for free. The south west and east Midlands have gaps of 16.6% and 16.8% respectively.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady explained that she believes it to be “shocking” that women still do not have pay parity. At current rates of progress, it will take nearly 30 years to close the pay gap.
“It’s clear that 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.
“The last two years have shown us that employers can do more to help women balance caring responsibilities and work. Flexible working is vital to mums keeping their jobs and progressing at work and is our best chance of closing the gender pay gap,” she said.