From Sunday, 20th November, women in the UK will effectively be working for free for the rest of the year.
According to the latest figures from the ONS (Office for National Statistics), the UK's gender pay gap based on hourly full-time salary now stands at 11.3%. This is down only negligibly from last year's gender pay gap of 11.9%.
Of course, it's no revelation that the gender pay gap is closing much too slowly. Back in 2018, Equal Pay Day fell on 10th November, meaning it's moved forward just 10 days in the last four years.
"It is deeply disappointing that the gender pay gap has barely shifted in the past few years, especially given the cost of living crisis is hitting women the hardest and forcing them to make impossible choices," said Jemima Olchawski, CEO of the Fawcett Society. "Other data indicates that the pay gap may be even worse for women of colour - though we still don't know the full picture."
Indeed, a recent report revealed that as the cost of living crisis intensifies, one in eight Britons expects to struggle to afford period products. This figure rises to one in six among young people aged between 18 and 24.
"We need more urgent action now, to put women’s equality at the heart of our economic recovery," said Olchawski. "The government should make flexible work the default with a requirement for jobs to be advertised as flexible upfront, to enable more women to work. We need mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and action plans, and we need employers to stop asking discriminatory salary history questions. Women can’t afford to wait any longer for the gap to close."