UK Equal Pay Day 2022: When Women Start Working for Free
Equal Pay Day, a national campaign led by the Fawcett Society in the UK, will be on 20 November 2022. This day will mark the point that women, on average, will stop earning pay in comparison to men—essentially working for free the remainder of the year. Equal Pay Day was launched to drive awareness in closing the gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap is not closing at a consistent rate
The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average pay of men and women. The gap between what women and men are paid persists year over year, indicating that the reasons for the gender pay gap are systemic, and a reflection of how society values the work of women less than men.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) outlines the latest figures around UK’s gender pay gap in 2022:
Overall, the gender pay gap continues to persist, and with the current economic environment and intensifying cost of living crisis—women are being impacted the hardest. When you layer in factors such as different ethnic backgrounds and women with disabilities, the pay gap is far from closed.
Pay discrimination contributes to the gender pay gap
By law, men and women must get equal pay for equal work, which can be defined as:
- Like work: Doing the same or similar job for the same employer
- Work rated as equivalent: Level of skill and responsibility are equal
- Work of equal value: Level of work is not similar, but the value is equal
Pay discrimination is prohibited by law, however, employers are continuing to contribute to pay discrimination by failing to address gender pay gaps. Pay transparency is increasingly important if the gap is ever going to close. Employers unable to defend differences in pay as a genuine factor, and not one based on gender alone, face risk of legal action, costly retention and productivity issues, and loss to brand reputation.
Commit to closing the gap at your organization
Pay equity is a complex issue and many organizations simply don’t know if they have a pay equity challenge or not. And even those who have some sense of the issue rarely have a grasp on the full extent of it, or how to even approach making a positive change.
However, there is a way forward. It starts with an effective pay gap analysis to gain a comprehensive picture of any inequities at your organization. Five key steps to take on your journey to closing the gap include:
- Understanding the laws and legal context around equal pay
- Establishing goals on how the organization wants to address pay equity
- Completing an analysis to diagnose pay gaps and what the root causes are
- Identifying risks for not complying with laws (legally and for retention)
- Taking action with a sustainable approach since pay equity is not a one-and-done process
Your commitment to pay equity contributes to the broader culture of your organization as a fair and inclusive workplace for all. This leads to greater employee motivation, better performance, and improved financial results for the business with enhanced brand reputation. Commit to closing the pay gap at your organization today!