TUC calls for fair labour market

Tim Lezard Europe, UK,

gender pay gap womenAnalysis by the TUC published today on Equal Pay Day reveals that the gap in annual salaries between top-earning women and top-earning men has hit 54.9%.

Each year, Equal Pay Day marks the point at which women working full-time effectively stop earning as they are paid on average 14.2% less an hour than men working full-time.

Today’s TUC analysis of official statistics reveals that while some progress has been made in securing an increase in the number of women members on company boards, the salary gap for top earners is still very high.

Looking at the top 10% of earners, the gap in annual salaries between full-time men and women rises steadily through each percentile, hitting 45.9% for the top 5% of earners, and reaching 54.9% for the top 2%. The top 2% male earners bring in more than £117,352 a year, while women get £75,745, more than £40,000 a year less.

In July the Prime Minister pledged to end the gender pay gap within a generation by forcing large companies to publish information about the difference between average male and female earnings. The TUC believes the government must go further: employers should have to publish more detailed information about gender pay differences in their workplace – including the distribution of men and women – alongside action plans to close the pay gap in their workplace. And companies who fail to comply with the law should be fined.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These figures show that the glass ceiling is barely cracked, let alone broken. It is shocking the UK still has such a large gender pay differences at the top of the labour market after more than four decades of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation. We need pay transparency, equal pay audits and a requirement on companies to tackle gender inequality – or face fines.

“We need a fair labour market that works for everyone and that doesn’t discriminate against women. I would urge all women concerned about their pay to join a union. Being in a union is the best way to get your voice heard and your interests represented at work.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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