Equal Pay Day 2023 will be 22nd November

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life, has confirmed that Equal Pay Day 2023 will fall on November 22nd.

Equal Pay Day is a national campaign led by the Fawcett Society in the UK. It marks the day in the year when, based on the gender pay gap, women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to men.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average pay of men and women within a particular group or population. Fawcett uses the mean, full-time, hourly gender pay gap for the UK to calculate the gender pay gap for Equal Pay Day which this year is 10.7%, a tiny shift from 10.9% last year. 

Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “Today’s data means that Equal Pay Day (EPD) falls on 22nd November – this is the date when, based on average earnings, women start working for free until the end of the year. This is just 48 hours later than last year and represents a glacial shift in the Gender Pay Gap of just 0.2 percentage points.

“Fawcett runs the Equal Pay Day campaign on behalf of women across the country – but we shouldn’t have to. The UK’s gender pay gap has hardly moved on in recent years and this isn’t good enough.

“Like so many other systemic unfairnesses, we know that the Gender Pay Gap hits Black and minoritised women hardest. We need to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory to improve the quality of the data on this issue. How can this government and employers tackle an issue they don’t fully understand? 

“The gender pay gap must be closed and we need urgent and effective action from employers and government. Employers must stop asking discriminatory salary history questions, and we need mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. There are so many policy interventions that could turn the dial but the simplest of them all is making flexible work the default. A lack of genuinely flexible, quality work traps women in roles below their capabilities and encourages the notion that flexible work is a privilege, not an essential part of a modern economy. This is a big reason we have a persistent gender pay gap which harms women and our economy.”

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly pay of women and men, as a proportion of men’s pay. Each year the Fawcett Society marks Equal Pay Day – the day in the year when, based on the gender pay gap, women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to men. 

This year, Government data has indicated a mean gender pay gap of 10.7% for full time-workers, which means that Equal Pay Day will be on November 22nd. This compares to 10.9% in 2022. 

How does the gender pay gap differ from pay discrimination? 

Whilst the two are sometimes conflated, the gender pay gap is distinct from pay discrimination, with the latter taking place when women are paid less than men for ‘equal work’. This has been illegal since the 1970s although often still occurs. ‘Equal work’ is defined in the law as: 

  • ‘Like work’, where two people are doing the same job. 
  • ‘Work rated as equivalent’, where two people might be doing slightly different jobs but a job evaluation study has assessed them as equivalent. 
  • ‘Work of equal value’, where a Tribunal has assessed that two people’s jobs are of equal value with reference to factors such as effort, skill, and decision-making. 3 

Pay discrimination is among several factors which contribute to the gender pay gap. Other factors include: 

  • Women’s unequal share of unpaid caring responsibilities, including the motherhood penalty – amid an unequal parental leave system, an unaffordable childhood education and care system, and a lack of flexible work. 
  • The overrepresentation of women in part-time work – which is lower paid pro rata than full-time work. 
  • Occupational segregation by gender – undervaluing the jobs women are more likely to do, such as social or child care work. 
  • A failure to promote women into senior roles. 

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

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