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The average UK woman works for free for 56 days of the year!

8th March: the world took a moment to celebrate International Women’s Day.

A day that focuses on celebrating the achievements of women but also emphasises the continuing need to take action for equality.

Considering the aims of the movement, we think it is apt to highlight one area where improvements need to be made: the gender pay gap.

Despite the gender pay gap falling at a rate of 0.6% per year since 2011, and the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in 2017, it is clear from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) recent analysis that there is still work to be done.

The analysis found that due to the average 15.4% pay gap, the average woman, compared to the average man, works for free for 56 days of the year. The smallest gap of 0.7% (3 free days) was in the accommodation and food services industry and the largest gap of 32.2% (118 free days) was in the financial and insurance industry.

Somewhat surprisingly, the gender pay gap was higher than average in industries that are dominated by women. For example, in education, the pay gap stood at 25.4% (93 free days) and in health care and social work, the gap was 18.3% (67 free days).

TUC’s analysis found that age had an impact on the pay gap. The gap was smallest for women aged 18 to 21 (1.7%, 6 free days) and largest for women aged 50 to 59 (21.8%, 80 free days).

The region also had an impact on the gender pay gap. Women based in the South East and the East Midlands, had a larger pay gap than average, at 18.9% (69 free days) and 16.8% (61 free days) respectively.

You may ask: what does this mean for achieving equality? Well, at this rate it will be 2049 before equality is achieved. However, the Government is due to review gender pay gap regulations by April this year. We will be sure to keep you updated. Sources:

 If you have any questions on the content above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Employment team.


Sophie Hughes

Author Sophie Hughes

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