Features

14th November 2019 is Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, which is not as positive and triumphant as it sounds. Today is the day in the year that, according to our charity partner the Fawcett Society and based on recent data, women stop earning relative to men.

In the April of this year, the government brought in new legislation that forced companies with over 250 employees to report gender pay gaps within their businesses. They found that on average eight in 10 UK firms paid men more than women.

The most recent woman to draw attention to the gender pay gap and demand equal pay for equal work was Samira Ahmed, who after her BBC pay tribunal stated: “I love my job on Newswatch despite it being difficult and challenging. On the back of my BBC ID card are written the BBC values which include ‘we respect each other and celebrate our diversity’ and ‘we take pride in delivering quality and value for money’.

“I just ask why the BBC thinks I am worth only a sixth of the value of the work of a man for doing a very similar job.”

The Fawcett Society Chief Executive Sam Smethers said: “Progress to close the gender pay gap is dismally slow and at this rate it will take 60 years to eradicate it.  As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act women have waited long enough.

“The pay gap represents a productivity gap and a waste of women’s skills and potential.  Too many women are trapped in low paid part-time work or locked out of non-traditional sectors while others experience pay or pregnancy discrimination.”

The gender pay gap is even wider when part-time workers are included – widening to 16.2% for the mean gap. The Fawcett Society is calling for ‘Equal pay for equal work’  which is referring to the legal right for a woman to be paid the same as a man for the same work, or work of the same value.

Today the Fawcett Society are urging us all to sign their #RighttoKnow petition with chef Kay Collins, who found she was being paid a massive £6000 less than her male co-worker! It is your right to know if you are being paid less than a co-worker for the same work. You can sign the petition here!