Mind the (pay) gap...

Sunday Sun - - News - JONATHAN WALKER Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor jon.walker@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HOW much do other peo­ple get paid?

If you’ve ever won­dered, you’re in luck, be­cause a Gov­ern­ment body has just pub­lished a break­down of what we earn.

It shows how salaries dif­fer across the coun­try - and ex­poses the large gap in pay be­tween men and women.

It’s called the An­nual Sur­vey of Hours and Earn­ings and it’s pub­lished by the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics.

In the North, the me­dian salary for a per­son with a full time job is £26,095 a year - that’s the to­tal amount, so it in­cludes any bonuses or over­time pay.

Me­dian means if you lined up ev­ery­one with a full time job in or­der of their salary and pointed to the per­son right in the mid­dle, you’d be point­ing at some­one who earns £26,095 a year.

An­other way of look­ing at it is half of full time work­ers earn less than £26,095, and half earn this much or more.

The North in this case means County Durham, Gateshead, New­cas­tle, North Ty­ne­side, Northum­ber­land, South Ty­ne­side and Sun­der­land.

If you earn £34,070 a year in the North then you are in the top 30 per cent of full-time work­ers. In other words, less than a third of peo­ple with full-time jobs earn this much.

And if you earn £40,000 a year in the re­gion then you’re in the top 20 per cent. That’s the top one in five. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple earn less than £20,000 a year. In fact, 25 per cent of North work­ers have a to­tal salary of £19,632 or less.

Salaries can vary de­pend­ing on where you live.

While the me­dian full time North East salary is £26,095 a year, it’s a bit lower in Tees Val­ley at £25,844.

It’s a lit­tle higher in the North West, in the Greater Manch­ester area, the fig­ure is £26,315.

Wages are higher in Lon­don and the sur­round­ing area. The me­dian full time salary in Hert­ford­shire, just north of Lon­don, is £34,199.

But the dif­fer­ence is big­gest at the top of the pay scale.

The top ten per cent of full­time em­ploy­ees in the North East are paid £49,556 a year or more.

But the top ten per cent in Lon­don get £79,089 or more.

Even within re­gions, there are sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences.

The best-paid place in the North East is North Ty­ne­side, where the me­dian salary for a per­son is £28,011.

Mean­while, the low­est are in Sun­der­land at £24,951.

These just show what peo­ple are paid. They don’t take into ac­count the jobs they are do­ing.

So it’s pos­si­ble a shop worker in one place is paid ex­actly the same as a shop­worker in an­other place. The dif­fer­ence might be one area has a lot of low-paid shop­worker jobs while an­other has more well-paid skilled en­gi­neer­ing jobs.

They also re­veal the gap be­tween men and women.

The me­dian wage for full time male em­ploy­ees in the North East is £28,087 a year. But for women, it’s £23,410. That’s a wage gap of £4,677 a year.

Again, this doesn’t mean women and men are be­ing paid dif­fer­ent amounts for do­ing ex­actly the same jobs.

But just be­cause the rea­sons are more com­plex doesn’t make it ac­cept­able, say cam­paign­ers such as the Fawcett So­ci­ety.

It says sim­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion is one fac­tor. Oth­ers in­clude a ten­dency to un­der­value roles done by women, the dom­i­nance of men in the best paid po­si­tions and un­equal car­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The Fawcett So­ci­ety has run a cam­paign, backed by many MPs. It named Fri­day Equal Pay Day, on the ba­sis women ef­fec­tively stop be­ing paid then, if their labour is equal in value to men’s.

Sam Smethers, Fawcett So­ci­ety Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, said: “The pay gap is widest for older women as it grows over our work­ing lives but we are now see­ing a widen­ing of the pay gap for younger women too, which sug­gests we are go­ing back­wards and that is ex­tremely wor­ry­ing.

“At a time when we are break­ing the taboo of talk­ing about sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the work­place we need to wake up to the fact that a cul­ture which tol­er­ates or even fos­ters sex­ual ha­rass­ment isn’t go­ing to pay women prop­erly either, and we know younger women are par­tic­u­larly likely to ex­pe­ri­ence ha­rass­ment.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.