Equal Pay Day: Gender gap leaves women 'working for free until the end of the year'

Campaigners have calculated the date based on official figures, which put the gap in average pay at 14.2%

Carey Mulligan as Maud in Suffragette
Carey Mulligan as Maud in Suffragette

If you’re a woman who works full time you will effectively be working for free from now until January, thanks to the gender pay gap.

That’s because today is Equal Pay Day – the point in the year at which the average woman in full-time employment is said to stop earning, in effect, compared with male counterparts. Campaigners have calculated the date based on official figures, which put the gap in average hourly pay between full-time men and women at 14.2 per cent. On average full-time men earn £16.77 per hour excluding overtime, compared with £14.39 per hour for full-time women, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The date changes each year and 2015’s Equal Pay Day is five days later than 2014’s, indicating that the pay gap has narrowed slightly.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of gender equality charity the Fawcett Society, said at the current rate of progress it would take 50 years to close the gender pay gap.

“Women should not have to wait that long,” she added.

The ONS figures show the gender gap is widest at the age of 50-59, when it rises to 20.5 per cent.

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