Equal Pay Day 2021: Women work free for the rest of the year

Equal Pay, Equal Pay Day, Gender Pay Gap

Women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year due to the disparages between men and women’s wages.

Each year the Fawcett Society marks Equal Pay Day – the day in the year when, based on data about average pay for those in full-time work, women overall stop being paid compared to men.

The Fawcett Society uses the Government’s Gender Pay Gap in the UK data set to calculate what day of the year Equal Pay Day falls on.

The UK’s full-time mean average gender pay gap this year is 11.9 per cent, an increase from 10.6 per cent last year. That means that Equal Pay Day has moved two days earlier in the year, compared to 20th November in 2020.

Equal Pay Day comes as it is revealed that the UK’s gender pay gap has widened due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the gap has worsened by 0.9 per cent over the last year. According to new figures, the gender pay gap in April 2021 for full-time employees was 7.9 per cent. In April 2020, it was 7 per cent and 9 per cent in April 2019. At this current rate, the gender pay gap won’t close for another two decades.

Speaking about Equal Pay Day, Felicia Willow, Interim CEO of the Fawcett Society, said, “The COVID pandemic has made collecting the gender pay gap data difficult and is likely to have had an impact on inequality in the labour market itself.”

“We will need to wait until furlough, data collection and other issues have ended before we can be certain of what has happened.”

“Our recent research has shown the severe impacts of the pandemic on younger women particularly, both on the sectors they work in and on their mental health.”

“Today’s data suggest the pay gap for them may be rising, and that action is needed to stop this turning into a long-term increase in the gender pay gap.”

“Whilst gender pay gap reporting has been effective in getting big employers to act, it needs to go much further – we want to see Government requiring mandatory action plans from employers to tackle gender pay gap in the workforce, as well as sharing data.”

“The pandemic has had a tough and disproportionate impact on women, in particular women of colour, disabled women and mothers.”

“And now in addition to this, a widening gender pay gap paints a worrying picture.”

“The Government needs to take bold action, from improving childcare provision, making flexible working available to everyone, and tackling the rising cost of living.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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