December 21, 2006 11:04 ET

Employers 'Scrooge-like' on Women's pay says Amicus

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 21, 2006) - Christmas is traditionally the time for giving however this isn't the case when it comes to women's salaries say Amicus.

With the gender pay gap at 17% nationally, the UK's largest private sector union Amicus say there is still unnecessary pay inequality between men and women and families will suffer over Christmas as a result.

Amicus say that a man earning GBP 25,000 a year will have been paid GBP 3,150 more over the year than a female colleague doing the same job. The union says it is not just an issue for women but affects entire families.

Despite the Prosser report which came out earlier this year equal pay audits remain voluntary. Unless the government enforce them as mandatory employers will continue to get away with underpaying their female employees.

The union says a typical family could buy the following Christmas fayre and gifts with the missing money:

One Christmas tree with decorations
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for a family for six
Three boxes of mince pies
Five rolls of wrapping paper
One chocolate log
Wii games consol
One Roboraptor
Two board games
Two perfume gift sets
Four dvd's
Four boxes of chocolates
One box of crackers
An iPod
A Sony camcorder
A satellite navigation system
A plasma screen TV

Siobhan Endean, Amicus' Head of Equalities, said:

"This list illustrates the impact the gender pay gap has on families' lives and it doesn't end here.

"Women are leaving university to start jobs that will see them paid considerably less than their male colleagues. This situation is preventing young couples, many of whom are burdened with student debt, from starting families and causing them to move to areas with cheaper housing. The knock-on effect is that this then upsets local job markets and impacts on council tax revenue.

"If the government takes immediate action to enforce the Equal Pay Act and introduces compulsory equal pay audits for employers then maybe families can look forward to merrier Christmases in the future."

The Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970 and employers were given five years - until 29 December 1975 - to comply with the new legislation.

Contact Information

  • Amicus
    Jody Whitehill
    07768 693956