WOMEN living in St Helens will effectively work months for free this year due to the gender pay gap, figures show.
Women’s rights charity the Fawcett Society said progress in closing the gender pay gap was too slow and called on the government to introduce measures to help women get better paying jobs, especially during the cost of living crisis.
Office for National Statistics estimates show that full-time female workers in St Helens earned an average of £15.46 per hour excluding overtime in April, while their male counterparts earned £19.7, a gap of 21 .5%.
This means that by the end of the year, women will have effectively worked without pay since October 14.
In the UK, full-time female workers are paid an average hourly rate of £18.09, which is 11.3% less than the £20.04 hourly wage earned by men.
Hourly figures are used to remove the effect of overtime.
Equal Pay Day will be celebrated on November 20 – after which women across the country will effectively stop earning a living relative to men – by the Fawcett Society, which has said the rising cost of living means that it’s vital for women across the country to be aware of the pay gap.
Jemima Olchawski, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “Progress in tackling the gender pay gap is too slow and the evidence continues to mount that women want to see more action.
“In the context of labor shortages and the cost of living crisis, we really cannot afford not to act.
“We urgently need action from government and employers.”
The gender pay gap is the estimated difference between the average hourly pay of men and women for all jobs and differs from the concept of equal pay, which means that men and women doing the same job must be paid the same.
For part-time workers across the country, the gender pay gap was 0.2 per cent last year, while in St Helens men earned 8.5 per cent more than women in part-time positions.
The Fawcett Society has also called on the government to make flexible working available to everyone to help more women and mothers into work.
He said employers should also stop asking “discriminatory” questions about salary history and post salary brackets on job postings.
The government’s Center for Equality said the overall trend in the national gender pay gap has narrowed over time since 1997.
A spokesman added that the government had introduced legislation for the right to flexible working, shared parental leave and pay and doubling free childcare.
. The gap pay between the genders sees the women Helens work of the months free