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Women work 'without pay' for four months

By Jack Averty | News | Published:

Women across the Black Country and Staffordshire have effectively been going without pay for more than four months of the year due to the gender pay gap, figures have revealed.

Women across the Black Country and Staffordshire have effectively been going without pay for more than four months of the year due to the gender pay gap, figures have revealed

All companies with 250 or more staff are required to report their gender pay figures, with more than three-quarters of companies nationally showing a gap in pay favouring male employees.

In the West Midlands, Office of National Statistics figures show women in work earned an average annual salary of £17,418 in 2018 – 36 per cent lower than the average man’s salary of £27,180.

The figures for Staffordshire show women earned an average annual salary of £17,504 in 2018 – 39 per cent lower than the average man’s salary of £28,565. This means women in the West Midlands have effectively been worked for free after August 22 last year, and women in Staffordshire from August 12.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Big employers clearly aren’t doing enough to tackle the root causes of pay inequality and working women are paying the price.

“Government needs to crank up the pressure. Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gaps, they should be legally required to explain how they’ll close them, and bosses who flout the law should be fined.”

The biggest disparity in salaries came in Dudley where the average £16,114 earned by women was 42 per cent lower than the average man’s salary of £27,818 in 2018.

Sandwell had the lowest pay disparity of the Black Country boroughs with 25 per cent.

The difference between men and women’s pay in Cannock Chase was 40 per cent, compared to 35 per cent in Stafford.

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Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, said businesses cannot close the gap by themselves, adding: “Many of the causes lie outside the workplace including a lack of affordable, high-quality childcare and better careers advice.

“Companies and the Government working together remains the best way to deliver the long-term, lasting change that’s needed.”

Across the UK, the average gender pay gap was 36 per cent across all roles and 18 per cent for full-time.

The minister for women and equalities, Penny Mordaunt, said: “Actions to tackle the gender pay gap are good for business. That’s why we have produced support to help employers close their gaps.

“We recognise that in order to close the gap entirely we still need a much wider cultural change, that is why we have introduced a range of initiatives to tackle the drivers of the gap, including shared parental leave and spending around £6 billion on childcare support.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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