UK has worst record of pay discrimination for women working part-time

Women who work part-time in the UK are more likely to suffer pay discrimination than anywhere else in Europe, according to new research.

The Part-Time Pay Penalty by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that British women working part-time earn an average of 22 per cent less than those working full-time, because of the lack of high-quality part-time jobs available.

The research also found that the UK has one of the worst records in allowing women to shift from full-time to part-time work without a demotion or job-change.

The research was carried out for the DTI’s Women and Equality Unit by Alan Manning and Barbara Petronogolo of the London School of Economics.

Professor Manning said: “Women working part-time are not using all the skills they have. That means they’re not earning to their full potential. More part-time and flexible opportunities would be an important step to help reduce the part-time pay penalty these women suffer.”

In all EU countries, the main cause is the same Ð the fact that women who want to work part-time have to shift to jobs with lower pay and status.

However, despite these findings, the UK has one of the highest levels of job satisfaction for women working part-time.

Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary and minister for women, recently announced the membership of the Women and Work Commission, which will make recommendations to the Government on tackling the pay gap between men and women when it reports next autumn.

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