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Women effectively working for free until January, report reveals

November 17 2015

Last Monday marked Equal Pay Day – the day each year when women effectively begin working for free until January, due to the gender pay gap.

Equal Pay Day, which is monitored by the Fawcett Society, was five days later this year than in 2014, on November 9.

According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings by the Office of National Statistics, women working full time are paid, on average, 14.2 per cent less than men working full time.

The TUC took the opportunity to release statistics that show the difference in pay between the UK’s top earning men and women. In the top earning two per cent, the gender pay gap is 54.9 per cent with the male earners taking away more than £117,352 a year, and women in the same category earning £75,745 year.

General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, said: “It is shocking the UK still has such large gender pay differences at the top of the labour market after more than four decades of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation.

“We need a fair labour market that works for everyone and that doesn’t discriminate against women.”

The Law Society released guidelines on equal pay for law firms. The CEO, Catherine Dixon, said Equal Pay Day provided an opportunity for organisations to look at their own pay practices.

“Equal Pay Day is an opportunity for all organisations to check whether their pay awards are fair and equitable. Our guidance helps firms to fulfil their legal obligations and to embed best practice that will enable them to attract and retain the best talent.

“We want all solicitors to be confident that the law is a profession where talent, ability and application are rewarded irrespective of gender or background,” Ms Dixon said.