Gender pay gap means Mansfield and Ashfield women 'work for free'

The gender pay gap in Mansfield and Ashfield means women will effectively work weeks for free this year, figures suggest.

By Joanna Morris
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 8:04 am

Campaigners have called on the Government to act after data revealed a ‘worrying’ gender pay gap between the earnings of men and women across the UK.

Estimates from the Office for National Statistics show that as of April, female workers in Mansfield were paid an average of £11.34 an hour while their male peers received £12 – an overall pay gap of 6 per cent.

Over the course of the working year, that means, in effect, women in the area will work without pay from December 10.

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Nationally, the female workforce is paid a median hourly rate of £12.92 – 15 per cent less than the £15.27 hourly wage earned by men.

The difference in Ashfield is even more staggering – the ONS estimates women were paid an average of £10.56 an hour while men received £13.65 in April – a gap of 23 per cent, meaning, in effect, Ashfield women have worked without pay since October 11.

Nationally, the female workforce is paid a median hourly rate of £12.92 – 15 per cent less than the £15.27 hourly wage earned by men.

The ONS said the figures suggest the gap has widened slightly nationally since April 2020.

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And with women said to have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, campaigners believe the problem could worsen.

Sophi Berridge, from The Equality Trust, which campaigns to reduce income inequality, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, women were more likely to be furloughed or made redundant, suffered from the lack of childcare and took on greater responsibilities of home-schooling and care work.”

She said employers should consider introducing subsidised childcare, access to paid time off for both parents and robust training and support for women.

Felicia Willow, of gender equality charity The Fawcett Society, said: “We want to see the Government requiring mandatory action plans from employers to tackle gender pay gap in the workforce.

“The pandemic has had a tough and disproportionate impact on women.”

The gender pay gap is the estimated difference between the average hourly wage for men and women across all jobs and is different from the concept of equal pay, which means men and women doing the same job must be paid the same.

A spokeswoman for the Government’s Equality Hub said: “We are committed to making workplaces more equal to allow everyone to reach their potential.”

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