Women still earn­ing less

Men’s pay pack­ets re­main big­ger, says watch­dog

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Chris Tay­lor

Women are far less likely than men to earn the na­tional Liv­ing Wage in Ren­frew­shire.

West­min­ster fig­ures re­veal one-in-five fe­males in the re­gion earn less than the man­dated £7.83 hourly rate.

Males are much more likely to be paid more – with 85 per cent of work­ers pock­et­ing the cash.

Crit­ics warn the gen­der split is push­ing fam­i­lies into depri­va­tion.

Tess Lan­ning, di­rec­tor of the Liv­ing Wage Foun­da­tion, cam­paigns for fairer cash for all.

She said: “Women are more likely to work in jobs and oc­cu­pa­tions that are low paid – such as ad­min­is­tra­tive, car­ing and clean­ing roles.

“Women are also more likely to work part- time due to their own car­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for chil­dren and fam­ily mem­bers.

“Th­ese roles are more likely to be low paid.

“There is a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem in our coun­try where the jobs and sec­tors that women have tra­di­tion­ally been more likely to work in are not val­ued.

“Car­ing for chil­dren and elderly and dis­abled peo­ple is one of the most im­por­tant jobs in our so­ci­ety.

“And yet, a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of peo­ple in this sec­tor do not even earn a wage that meets their ba­sic needs.”

Go v e r n m e n t has man­dated all em­ploy­ees are paid the na­tional liv­ing wage.

It is set at £7.83 an hour for those aged 25 or over.

Firms must pay £7.38 an hour to 21 to 24-year-olds.

But younger work­ers are only en­ti­tled to the na­tional min­i­mum wage of £5.90 an hour.

The top rate is the equiv­a­lent of an an­nual salary of £ 16,286 for some­one work­ing 2,080 hours a year – a typ­i­cal full­time job.

Al­most 20 per cent of women in Ren­frew­shire are not paid the top line liv­ing wage – around 8,000 work­ers.

Men are much more likely to take home the higher rate, with 15.9 per cent of work­ers not re­ceiv­ing the liv­ing wage – around 6,000 em­ploy­ees.

Women in part-time roles in the re­gion are even worse off, with al­most a third – around 6,000 work­ers – paid less than £7.83.

Across Scot­land, 271,000 women earn be­low the govern­ment-set rate of pay.

That works out as 22 per cent of all women in jobs – al­most a quar­ter of all fe­male staff.

In com­par­i­son, just 15 per cent of men work­ing across the coun­try earn less than the na­tional liv­ing wage.

Ms Lan­ning added: “The ba­sic test of fair­ness for any em­ployer is whether they are pay­ing their staff a wage that meets the ba­sic costs and pres­sures of ev­ery­day life.

“To tackle in-work poverty we need more em­ploy­ers to join the move­ment of more than 4,700 liv­ing wage em­ploy­ers who have com­mit­ted to pay the real liv­ing wage, not just the govern­ment min­i­mum.

“The gap be­tween the govern­ment min­i­mum and the real liv­ing wage based on what peo­ple need to live is over £1 an hour, and more than £2.50 an hour in Lon­don.

“The num­ber of jobs that pay less than the real liv­ing wage has gone up in the last year, to more than one in five of all jobs.

“That’s why we need to see more em­ploy­ers take a stand by com­mit­ting to en­sure their staff earn a wage they can re­ally live on.”

There is an op­tional liv­ing wage em­ploy­ers can pay.

It has been dubbed the ‘real liv­ing wage’ and works out at £8.75 an hour.

Ex­perts in­sist this is the amount nec­es­sary to live com­fort­ably and works out as £18,200 a year.

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