The gap between men and women\’s earnings is bigger in Britain than in most other European countries, research shows.
Official figures have disclosed that male workers take home 21 per cent more pay than their female colleagues in the UK, a greater gender pay divide than the EU average of 17.4 per cent.
Britain has the eighth biggest gap in gross hourly earnings between the sexes of 26 nations compared by the European Commission, with Estonia the least equal and Italy the fairest.
Hmm, eighth out of 26….pretty much middle of the pack really but is there a cause? Other than the oppressions of the patriarchy of course?
It is thought that the high proportion of women in the UK who work part-time accounts for the large gap in earnings,
Aha, it\’s a trick of the composition of the labour force. We know very well that people who work part time get less per hour than those who work full time. Yes, this is true of both men and women and it\’s true pretty much everywhere. Partly because it costs more to employ part timers (there are certain overheads…training for example….the costs of which are spread over fewer hours work), partly because part timers will, by their very nature, have less experience of the specific job and partly because, by working part time, they are showing that they value something other than cash income.
And we in the UK do indeed have many more women working part time in comparison to other countries. We actually think this is a good thing too…..people get to work as they would wish, not forced into the rigid structure of a full time job or no job. This is one of those famed flexibilities of the UK labour market.
So, we\’ev a structural difference, one that we really rather like, but which has the unfortunate effect of showing that we have a larger gender pay gap than others. Because we\’re looking not just at the gender pay gap but also at the part time pay gap. Naughty, naughty.
This is also quite delightful from the EU itself.
Some women are paid less than men for doing the same job. (This factor only explains a small part of the gender pay gap, due to the effectiveness of the EU and national legislation.)
Whether or not there was national or EU legislation here I doubt very seriously that there would be all that much direct discrimination. For simple economic reasons: if women were paid less than men for the same job then companies that preferentially employed women would clean up, thus raising women\’s wages in the process.