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23 March 2018

New analysis of the gender pay gap published by the TUC


A new analysis of official statistics published by the TUC shows that the gender pay gap is at its widest when a woman hits 50, when the average woman working full-time will earn £8,421 a year less than the average full-time working man.

The research – published in advance of the gender pay reporting deadline on Wednesday 4 April – shows that women working full-time earn less than men annually at every stage of their careers.

Young women: The average young woman aged 18-21 working full-time starts her career on the back foot financially, earning £1,845 less than her male peers. And this pay gap is only set to increase. Women aged 22-29 working full-time can expect to earn £2,305 less than full-time working men their age.

Women in their 40s: The gap in annual earnings more than doubles by the time women hit 40, leaping up from £3,670 a year at age 30 to £7,400 a year. The TUC believes this reflects the impact of motherhood on women’s earnings, when women find they are only able to return to work in lower-paid roles or cannot progress their careers after having moved to part-time employment.

Women in their 50s: The pay gap widens further for women in their 50s, hitting £8,421 a year, as the longer-term impacts of getting stuck in lower paid work with few promotion prospects are felt and caring responsibilities – including for older relatives – continue to have an effect.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Women suffer a huge pay penalty over the course of their lives, starting as soon as they set foot on the career ladder. A good first step for women worried about their pay is to join a union.”

To address the gender pay gap the TUC is calling on the government to:

1. Toughen up gender pay gap reporting: by increasing resources for enforcement, introducing immediate fines for non-compliance and requiring employers to publish action plans alongside their figures. Smaller employers should also be required to report.

2. End the motherhood pay penalty: by tackling pregnancy discrimination, giving dads better opportunities to share parental leave and working with employers to create more well-paid part-time jobs.

3. Improve pay for “women’s work”: through investing in key sectors like social and nursery care where many important jobs are done by women. 

4. End discriminatory pay: through mandatory equal pay audits.





























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