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01 Jul 2014
Forty four years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, new analysis of Office for National Statistics figures has revealed that women in Yorkshire & the Humber still earn on average just 80p for every pound earned by men.
Since coming to power over four years ago the Government has managed to close the gap by just 0.1% and shockingly, last year, for the first time since 2008 the pay gap didn’t just stagnate, it rose.
The depressing figures show that if the Government had continued with the progress made before 2010, women would have an extra £177.30 in their pay packets at the end of the year. This extra cash could make a big difference as families continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis.
A third of working women are now in low-wage jobs, and nationally a record six million women are working part-time where hourly pay is on average a third less than they could expect in a full-time job. Additionally some three-quarters of a million women are now on zero-hour contracts, many of them struggling to get enough hours from one week to the next.
We need to make achieving equal pay a priority, with greater pay transparency so women can see if they are being paid less than their male colleagues.
It seems extraordinary in an age when girls are outperforming boys at school, going to university in greater numbers and running FTSE 100 companies that pay inequality still exists, but it does. What is really depressing is that things are going backwards. Women deserve much better than this and they can’t afford to wait another 44 years for pay equality, and neither can Britain.