Equal pay day hits UK

10 December will highlight wage difference between men and women

By Rosa Smith, News Editor

Friday 10 December was marked by women around the country as ‘Equal Pay Day’, raising awareness of the date from which many women work for free because of the average pay gap between men and women.

Attention has been drawn to the matter recently after high profile BBC presenters’ wages were revealed, with substantial differences between male and female presenters. There is thought to be an average pay gap of 9.4% just at the BBC. Now, hundreds of thousands of women are calling for an end to the gender pay gap, which is on average 18.4% in the UK.

The day, named by the Fawcett Society which is the UK’s leading charity campaign for gender equality and women’s rights, saw women protesting around the country, posting messages on social media, and many setting automatic email responses ‘out of the office’ until the end of the year, despite being at work.

According to the Fawcett Society, the gender pay gap has not only stalled – with Equal Pay Day not budging for three years – but is now widening for some women. Young women are particularly the worst affected, with the pay gap for women in their twenties widening from 1.1% in 2011 to 5.5% this year, and female graduates earning around £2,000 – £3,000 less than their fellow male graduates.

Under new government rules, all companies with more than 250 employees will have to report their gender pay gaps by April 2018. The government is also encouraging companies to publish an ‘action plan’ alongside their figures, outlining steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

Featured image: Huffington Post

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