Equal Pay Day: Women work for free for the rest of the year

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Sunday 20 November marks Equal Pay Day – the day in which women, on average, stop earning relative to men in the UK, according to The Fawcett Society

Today, Sunday 20 November, marks Equal Pay Day, which is effectively the day of the year when women, on average, stop earning relative to men in the UK, according to the The Fawcett Society

This year, Equal Pay Day falls just two days later than 2021, highlighting little progression has been made. In this year's report, the mean gender pay gap for all employees, not just those working full time, is 13.9%, which represents a small decrease from last year's 14.9%.

A report by the ONS shows that the average pay gap between male and female UK workers has increased to 8% from 7.7% in April 2021. As a result, closing the gender pay gap appears to have become a stagnant goal for many. Furthermore, the government has discussed plans to exempt tens of thousands of employers from gender pay gap obligations, a move that could not only halter women’s progression, but reverse it altogether. 

“It’s no revelation that the gender pay gap is closing too slowly,” Agata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA, Skillsoft say: “However, Equal Pay Day, the date from which women in the UK will effectively be working for free for the rest of the year, puts this disparity into stark focus. The economic crisis has weighed heavily on working women, with research showing the disproportionate impact of job losses and financial strain. It’s disappointing to see this reflected in this year’s gender pay gap figures - decreasing a minimal 0.6% from 2021. 

Now is the time to act

Agata continues to states that as the UK is moving into recession, businesses need to act now. She continues: “Talks of the government’s move to “cut the red tape”, scrapping gender pay gap reporting for businesses with under 500 employees, risks further turning back the clock for women at work. 

“In addition, there’s been a significant fall in employers providing gender pay data in the last few years. Across the board, DEI initiatives seem to have taken a back seat, jeopardising the employment gains of the previous decades.”


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