The TUC reported that the average woman has to wait more than two months of the calendar year before she starts to get paid, compared to the average man.
Its analysis, released on International Women’s Day, found that the current gender pay gap for full-time and part-time employees stands, meaning that women effectively work for free for the first 67 days of the year to March 8.
In a number of key industries — even in those dominated by female workers — gender pay gaps are even bigger. In education it is currently 26.5%, so the average woman effectively works for free for more than a quarter of the year (97 days) and has to wait until the 7 April before she starts earning the same as the average man. In health and social work, the average woman waits 69 days for her Women’s Pay Day on 10 March.
The longest wait for Women’s Pay Day comes in finance and insurance where the gender pay gap is the equivalent of 130 days — more than a third of the year — before Women’s Pay Day finally kicks in on 10 May.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe. Women effectively work for free for two months a year. “Women will only start to get paid properly when we have better-paid part-time and flexible jobs. And higher wages in key sectors like social care. “Workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family friendly policies and fair pay. So a good first step for women worried about their pay is to join a union.”