29th October 2019

Equal Pay Day is on the 14 November 2019

New gender pay gap data finds that women continue to earn less than men, on average, in Britain today.

The most recent statistics from the ONS’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) – published today - show that the mean gap for full time workers is 13.1%.

The gender pay gap has slightly improved from the revised figure last year, which was 13.9%.

The Fawcett Society Chief Executive Sam Smethers said:

"Today's data shows that this year's Equal Pay Day , the day in the year when women effectively start to work for free, falls on 14th November. Progress to close the gender pay gap is dismally slow and at this rate it will take 60 years to eradicate it.  As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act women have waited long enough.

"The pay gap represents a productivity gap and a waste of women's skills and potential.  Too many women are trapped in low paid part-time work or locked out of non-traditional sectors while others experience pay or pregnancy discrimination.  

"Black and minority ethnic women continue to experience bigger pay gaps than white women as they face multiple barriers and discrimination.  It's time to speed up the pace of change and shift the balance of power.  We need gender pay gap reporting by ethnicity, medium-sized employers included in reporting requirements and a requirement to publish action plans. Employers have to be held to account.

"But we also need to address the underlying causes, one of which is the unequal sharing of unpaid care work. That means supporting dads with a longer better paid period of leave, plus all jobs flexible unless there is a business reason for them not to be."

Fawcett marks Equal Pay Day each year as the point in the year when, based on this data, women stop earning relative to men. This year that is on the 14th November 2019.

The gender pay gap is even wider when part time workers are included - widening to 16.2% for the mean gap.

‘Equal pay for equal work’ refers to the legal right for a woman to be paid the same as a man for the same work, or work of the same value – in other words, not to be discriminated against. Organisations may find that they have an equal pay problem when they look at their gender pay gap data – if they do, this is unlawful and must be corrected.

Click here to read more about how the Gender Pay Gap and pay discrimination interact.

Read our Gender Pay Gap By Ethnicity report here.

All organisations employing over 250 people in England, Wales and Scotland are legally required to report their gender pay gap data annually. Fawcett campaigned for this to be introduced, and will continue to campaign for it be strengthened.