3rd November 2020

Equal Pay Day will be on 20th November 2020.

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life, can confirm that Equal Pay Day 2020 (the day in the year when women effectively, on average, stop earning relative to men) will fall on 20th November.

The Fawcett Society uses the full-time mean average gender pay gap (add everyone together, divide by the number of people) for this data, which this year is 11.5%, down from 13.1% in 2019. That means that Equal Pay Day has moved 6 days later in the year, compared to 14th November in 2019. The mean gender pay gap for all employees, not just those working full-time, is 14.6% this year, down from 16.3% last year.

While a reduction in the Gender Pay Gap is welcome, the Fawcett Society warns that this year’s data comes with a significant reliability warning given the difficulties the ONS has had in data collection due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a quarter of the usual sample of employer pay data missing (44,000 out of 180,000 employers) and the impact of furlough unclear.

The Fawcett Society Chief Executive Sam Smethers said:

“We welcome a fall in the gender pay gap. However, we only have a partial picture because the impact of coronavirus means a quarter of employers are missing from the data set. They are likely to be the ones hit hardest by the pandemic. Even on the figures we do have, we will need to wait until next year to know if there really has been a significant fall. The short-term impact of furlough also makes the figures less clear.

“We also know there are a number of risks to women’s pay and employment as a result of coronavirus which could turn the clock back for a generation. Mothers are more likely to have had their work disrupted due to unequal caring roles and a lack of childcare. Men are more likely to have worked under furlough, and to have had their pay topped up. The second lockdown looks set to hit women working in hospitality and retail hard while predominantly male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing are still at work.”

Read the Equal Pay Day explainer here.