WOMEN across Worcester will effectively work for free throughout December because of gender pay gap, new research has revealed.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the county’s women earn £1.09 per hour less than men which means they effectively stop being paid on November 29 compared to their male counterparts.
While the 8.6 per cent gap is below the national average of 14.1 per cent, campaigners have used Equal Pay Day today to raise awareness of the problem facing women on average salaries.
Leading campaigning charity the Fawcett Society has sounded a stark warning that the pay gap is actually widening for some groups of women and it will now take 100 years to close it, based on the current rate of change.
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.
“At current rates of change we will never close the gender pay gap.
“This shocking lack of progress means without significant action women starting work today and in decades to come will spend their entire working lives earning less than men.”