Will Peter Mandelson pay any heed? I mean, this is an issue of workers’ rights…
Perhaps his replacement will be more sympathetic (yes, I am betting he’ll not last ’til the new year…)
From the Fawcett Society:
It’s No Pay Day! The day that women receive their last payslip of the year and start working for free is here, so let’s do something about it.
Here’s our quick FAQ to No Pay Day 2008:
What’s the significance of October 30th?
We’ve labelled October 30th Women’s No Pay Day because it signifies the day that women start working for free while men get paid year-round – if you apply the 17% gender pay gap for full-time work to the average salary, it’s the equivalent of women working the last two months of the year for free.
What’s the cause of the pay gap?
Discrimination: it’s estimated by up to 40% of the pay gap is due to straightforward discrimination – so, women being paid less to do work of an equal value or skill level to their male colleagues.
Jobs traditionally done by women are paid less: Society has put a low value of women’s work, even when it’s a skilled job. For instance, we pay people more to look after cars than to care for our children or elderly people.
Few senior or skilled jobs offer flexible working: Mothers often work below their skill level because lower skilled jobs are more likely to give them the flexibility to balance work and home. We need more highly skilled and senior jobs to be available with flexible hours.
Isn’t it just because women work part-time?
No – the pay gap figures are broken down into full-time and part time:
- Women working full-time earn on average 17% less per hour than men working full-time
- Ethnic minority women working full-time earn on average 20% less per hour than men working full-time
- Women working part-time earn on average 36% less per hour than men working full-time
- …and women working part-time in London earn on average 45% less per hour than men working full-time.
What’s the solution?
Our Women’s No Pay Day campaign is calling for two main things:
Health checks for companies: Mandatory pay audits which would require all organisations to compare the earnings of women and men doing similar work to see if there is a gap
Help for women challenging their pay: Changes to the law to make it much easier for women to take cases to court, and to allow women to take such cases as a group, with the support of unions.
What can I do?
Sign our letter to Peter Mandelson! We’re almost at 1000 signatures – please add your voice to our letter asking for bold reforms to prevent pay inequality taking place. Follow the link below to add your name.
Fawcett supporters across the UK will be holding events to raise awareness of the pay gap today. Watch this space for photos and updates!
For more information about our equal pay campaign, please use the links on the right of this page.