‘Women more likely to be in low-paid sec­tors’

Western Mail - - UK&WORLD NEWS - ALAN JONES Press As­so­ci­a­tion news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

CALLS for more ac­tion to tackle the gen­der pay gap are be­ing stepped up amid new re­search show­ing that women are more likely to be in low-paid jobs.

Today is be­ing dubbed Equal Pay Day, when women ef­fec­tively start work­ing for free for the rest of the year be­cause of the pay dif­fer­ence with men.

Dawn But­ler, shadow min­is­ter for women and equal­i­ties, said: “The fact that Equal Pay Day has fallen on the same date for three con­sec­u­tive years shows we still have a very long way to go in the fight for equal­ity.

“This Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment has failed to tackle the un­der­ly­ing struc­tural is­sues that re­sult in women be­ing paid less than men.

“It’s time to close the gen­der pay gap so that one day there will not be an Equal Pay Day.

“To ad­dress th­ese deep-rooted in­equal­i­ties, we need ac­tion from govern­ment, not just au­dits.

“The next Labour govern­ment will re­quire all large em­ploy­ers to prove ex­actly how they plan to tackle their gen­der pay gaps. We must end the scourge of un­equal pay.”

The Liv­ing Wage Foun­da­tion said that more than one in four jobs filled by women pay be­low the vol­un­tary liv­ing wage, com­pared with fewer than one in five for men.

Tess Lan­ning, di­rec­tor of the Liv­ing Wage Foun­da­tion, said: “One of the fac­tors driv­ing the UK’s gen­der pay gap is that women are more likely to be in low-paid jobs and sec­tors.

“Mil­lions of women are trapped in jobs pay­ing be­low a real liv­ing wage, par­tic­u­larly ad­min­is­tra­tive, clean­ing and car­ing roles.

“Plans to im­prove gen­der equal­ity must in­volve more busi­nesses com­mit­ting to pay a real liv­ing wage.”

A Govern­ment Equal­i­ties Of­fice spokesman said: “This year over 10,000 large em­ploy­ers pub­lished gen­der pay gap in­for­ma­tion for the first time un­der this govern­ment’s world-lead­ing re­port­ing reg­u­la­tions.

“But re­port­ing is only the first step, which is why we have pub­lished ev­i­dence-based ac­tions em­ploy­ers can take to close their pay gap, and are en­cour­ag­ing them to de­velop a plan to iden­tify and tackle the causes.”

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