Despite the government’s commitment to eradicating the gender pay gap, new research suggests that is has scarcely decreased within four years.
A new report by the Women and Equalities Committee has highlighted that the gender pay gap, currently at 19.2 per cent, has remained around the same mark for the past four years.
The report also concluded that women over the age of 40 are most affected. The gender pay gap for women aged between 50 and 59 currently stands at 27.3%.
Reasoning behind the gender pay gap, according to the report, is due largely to many women working in part-time roles, or low paid jobs. They also suggest that it falls to many women to become the carer, resulting in differentials in pay. The report states, ‘as long as women continue to take the majority of responsibility for childcare and other forms of unpaid caring, pay differentials will persist.’
‘Women pay a high price for time taken out of work, and this disadvantage persists well beyond the years they spent caring.’
The Women and Equalities Committee is calling for both men and women to share childcare more equally; for more support to be given to women who have had a period of leave, such as maternity; and to focus more attention and resources on women in low paid jobs concluding that until these women receive a better wage and career progression, the pay gap will remain.
Maria Miller, Chair of the Committee said, “The gender pay gap is holding back women and that isn’t going to change unless the Government changes its policies now. The pay gap represents a massive loss to the UK’s economy and we must address it in the face of an ageing workforce, a skills crisis and the need for a more competitive economy.”
“If the Government is serious about long-term, sustainable growth it must invest in tackling the root causes of the gender pay gap. Adopting our recommendations would be a significant step towards achieving the goal of eliminating the gender pay gap within a generation.”
You can download the full report here
You can also read our guide on the gender pay gap here