Equal Pay Day 2020: gender pay gap leaves West Lindsey women working equivalent of three months unpaid

The latest figures on the UK’s gender pay gap have revealed that women in West Lindsey will effectively work three months for free this year.

Information released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows women working in the district in April earned an average hourly salary of £10.04 – 25 per cent less than men, who earned £13.41 an hour, and lower than the national women’s average of £12.50.

Over the course of the working year, this means local women effectively work without pay from October 1.

Nationally the mean average full-time salary for UK women is £33,259, compared to £42,231 for men, making the equivalent date November 20, which gender equality charity the Fawcett Society has declared Equal Pay Day.

Women in West Lindsey will effectively work three months for free this year

Chief executive Sam Smethers warned that the pandemic poses particular risks to women’s employment which may not show up in the figures until next year.

She said: “Mothers are more likely to have had their work disrupted due to unequal caring roles and a lack of childcare. Men are more likely to have worked under furlough, and to have had their pay topped up.

"The second lockdown looks set to hit women in hospitality and retail hard while male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing are still at work.”

Pay discrimination is illegal but the Fawcett Society says employers can too easily hide salary information.

Other issues include women doing more part-time work, an undervaluing of the types of work they do, a lack of women in well-paid sectors, and failure to promote women to senior roles.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said gender pay gap data is an important tool in combatting discrimination, but "meaningful action" is also needed.

A spokeswoman added: “We have repeatedly called for the Government to make it mandatory for employers to publish action plans with targets and deadlines alongside their pay gap data, to help create an environment where women can flourish.”

The Government’s Equality Hub, said comprehensive support was in place for sectors been particularly impacted by the pandemic.

A spokesman added: "As we unite the country and recover from the pandemic it is key that companies embrace flexible working initiatives."

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