Women still earning less
Men’s pay packets remain bigger, says watchdog
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.