Unions and equal pay campaigners the Fawcett Society have joined forces to declare tomorrow (30 October) 'Women's No Pay Day'.
Despite equal pay laws coming into force 30 years ago, women working full-time are still earning less than men.
Fawcett Society research shows that women are worse off than men by about £4,000 a year – a 17% pay gap in average earnings – equivalent to men getting paid all year and women working for free from 30 October.
Unions are organising events across the country to support Women's No Pay Day and demand stronger action from the government on closing the gender pay gap.
The Fawcett Society has also written an open letter to business secretary Lord Mandelson demanding action to toughen up the laws on equal pay.
The body is calling for some major changes, including:
- Mandatory pay audits for all organisations
- The government to set dates for finally closing the pay gap
- Full sign-up to EU law restricting working hours, so that those with caring responsibilities can better balance work and home
- More flexible working at all levels of the workforce
- Allow equal pay cases to be brought by group action so women don't have to bring individual claims.
The following video, recorded in August, features employment lawyer Tom Potbury of Pinsent Masons discussing why firms in the private sector need to weigh carefully the pros and cons before launching an equal pay audit.