Equal Pay Day hits the UK

9th November is Equal Pay Day – effectively, this is the day women start working for free for the rest of the year. 

If somebody asked you to do your job for free from today until the end of the year, would you say yes?  If you are a woman, your answer doesn’t matter.  As of today, thanks to the gender pay gap, you are effectively working for free. According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings by the Office for National Statistics, the pay gap for men and women working full-time is 14.2%.  At the current rate of progress it will take over 50 years to close the gap.

The government recently pledged to do more to bring women’s pay in line with men’s, with David Cameron vowing to ‘close the pay gap in a generation’, but the UK’s leading gender equality charity believes the Government will not achieve its aim without more being done to speed up the pace of change. As well as making recommendations of what the government and business can do to help bring about change, the Fawcett Society is also pointing out what individuals can do to make a difference.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, said: “There has never been a better opportunity to close the pay gap for good. Progress has stalled in recent years but with real commitment for government and employers, together with action from women and men at work, we could speed up progress towards the day when we can consign it to history.

“We welcome the inclusion of bonus payments and the extension of the new regulations to the public sector.  But new regulations on pay should require an action plan alongside the pay gap with tough penalties for employers who do not comply.

“The message to women and men at work is – it’s OK to talk about pay.  How can we achieve pay equality if we don’t even know what our colleagues earn?  It is time to have the conversation and ask your employer if they are ready for the new pay gap reporting requirements.”

To find out how to get involved, find out about our #PayGapPledge and follow us on Twitter.

For more about the gender pay gap, how it’s calculated and our recommendations, head to our issues page here.

Download the full Equal Pay Day press release here.

For Fawcett’s Equal Pay Day policy briefing click here

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