Women in their 30s will never know about equal pay in their working lives if progress toward tackling the gender gap is not accelerated, according to a new analysis.
To mark Equal Pay Day, the day that women actually stop receiving a payment due to the gender pay gap in the UK, the Labor Party has said 8.5 million women will follow their entire career without receiving the same salary.
It comes as research by the Fawcett Society reveals that 43% of working women and 50% of black and ethnic minority working women, compared to 35% of white working men, are concerned about their job prospects and promotion due to the coronavirus, while one-third of working women have lost their job or their working hours due to problems related to childcare related to the pandemic.
Savanta ComRes’ survey of 8,425 UK adults found that school and daycare closures during the pandemic had hit black and ethnic minority working mothers hard: 44% said they lost their jobs or hours due to the lack of childcare, compared to 34% of working white mothers. .
Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said the UK is at a “coronavirus crossroads” on the road to gender equality.
“The Second World War gave rise to the welfare state; the winter of discontent ushered in a new Thatcherian era, ”he said. “The coronavirus crisis puts us back at a crossroads, and it is clear that this applies to the gender pay gap.”
She said the progress made in the 50 years since the Equal Pay Act had eroded, with women facing an uncertain economic future and the child care sector in crisis. the latest government figures show that there are more women than men on leave in almost all age groups, while 36% of young women work in sectors that have been closed. He accused the government of ignoring the needs of families while invested £ 16 billion in defense. “More guns and bullets will not help working parents,” he said. “We urgently need an adequately funded child care infrastructure so parents can work and grow our economy out of the pandemic.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average pay gap between men and women for all employees is 14.6% this year, up from 16.3% last year. Fawcett calculates Equal Pay Day using the average full-time gender pay gap, which this year is 11.5%, down from 13.1% in 2019. But he said the reduction should be treated with caution, about a quarter of The usual sample of employer pay data was missing from ONS calculations due to Covid. The government announced in March that it had suspended the requirement for employers to report their gender pay gaps for 2019-20 due to the pandemic.
Marsha De Cordova, Shadow Secretary for Women and Equality, said: “The government has failed to address the gender pay gap and has ignored the impact this crisis has had on women. We need urgent action to modernize equal pay legislation and restart reporting on the pay gap. “
the Confidence in equality She said the government can only make equal pay a reality by giving women the right to know what a colleague doing the same job is paid. in a report On the occasion of Equal Pay Day, she said there had been “negligible progress in narrowing the gender pay gap” during the company’s three years of reporting, and a 179% increase in the bonus gap. average gender of the reporting companies.
“Women are still being undervalued, underpaid, and to add insult to injury, there is little to no progress on gender pay and bonus gaps,” said Dr. Wanda Wyporska, executive director of the trust.
He pointed to companies that reported high gender pay gaps this year, including easyJet (54.7%), HSBC Bank (55.1% and bonus gap: 68.5%), Yours Clothing (59% and bonus gap : 88%) and Rush Hair (69.2%). %) as examples of the work that still needs to be done.
A spokesman for the Government Equality Office said the government was “fully committed” to providing equal opportunities in the workplace: “As we seek to unite the country and recover from the pandemic, it is key that companies adopt labor initiatives that have a positive impact on staff recruitment and productivity. “
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