Women work for NOTHING from today

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones, has marked Equal Pay Day by holding a Senedd event calling on employers and public sector organisations to do much more to eliminate the gender pay gap.

Women in full-time work earn on average 15% less than their male counterparts for doing exactly the same job, according to Office of National statistics figures. The gender pay gap has fallen steadily from around 20% at the turn of the century, but remains stubbornly high. In some sectors, such as the professional health sector, women earn 31% less than male colleagues.

Despite the Equal Pay Act and other equality legislation being in force, income disparity between women and men is present in most professions. Mrs Jones has called on employers to undertake annual pay audits and publish the gender pay gap every year in their annual reports to Companies House. Just one in 100 companies voluntarily publish information relating to equal pay.

Mrs Jones said: “From today (November 7th), women will work for nothing until the end of the year because of the failure to eliminate the gender pay gap.

“It is a huge insult to women across the UK that women are still earning on average almost £5,000 a year less than men. This unfair disadvantage can mean that women lose out on hundreds of thousands over the course of their career.

“It is absolutely scandalous that forty years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, women still don’t earn equal pay for equal work.

“Employers and the UK Government must do more to ensure that they are living up to their moral obligations and make absolutely sure that women are not disadvantaged in the workplace.

“The gender pay gap is yet another indicator of economic failure. It is bewildering that employers are missing out on billions of pounds worth of women’s talent, skills and experience every year.

“With a million public sector workers set to be sacked by the Tory/Lib Dem Government over the next few years, the average gap in pay could widen as women take up lower paid work in the private sector. This will have a huge impact on Welsh women workers”.

Mrs Jones was joined in the Senedd by guests from academia, the trade union movement and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.