Gender pay equality at ‘coronavirus crossroads’ on Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day in the year when based on average pay data for those in full-time work, women overall stop being paid compared to their male counterparts.

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading gender equality charity, have marked the occasion by publishing a new report that shows the UK is at a ‘coronavirus crossroads’ when it comes to gender equality.

The ‘Coronavirus Crossroads’ study by the Lambeth based business highlights the catastrophic impact of coronavirus on equality in the workplace, with 43% of working women saying they are worried about their job or promotion prospects because of the pandemic. 

It found that women face significant risks when it comes to unfair redundancies after furlough and due to the risk of the childcare sector collapsing. 

Chief Executive Sam Smethers said: “Gains that have been made in the 50 years since the Equal Pay Act are at risk of being eroded. 

“The Government must make the right to equal pay a reality by giving women the ‘Right to Know’ what a male colleague doing the same work is paid.

“This would give women the opportunity to resolve equal pay issues without having to go to court which would be a huge step forward.”

Alongside the report, new polling by Savanta ComRes showed that four in nine working mothers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds said they had lost work or hours due to a lack of childcare, confirming that the female BAME community suffered disproportionately in the pandemic as a result.

However, the study also confirmed that since the pandemic, many fathers want to play a greater role in parenting after the time spent caring for their children has doubled in recent months. 

Smethers said: “As the Government begins to look towards rebuilding the economy, it must invest in our childcare and social care infrastructure, embed flexible working and improve paid leave for dads.

“The changes to how we work and live brought on by the pandemic means we have the opportunity to choose the road towards gender equality.” 

For more information about The Fawcett Society, check out the website.

To show support this Equal Pay Day, you can take a photo of you wearing your mask on social media using the hashtag #EqualPayDay.

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