Explaining a Little More of the Gender Pay Gap

As you all know, I\’m pretty certain that we don\’t really have a gender pay gap in the UK. That is, we don\’t have one cause by direct discrimination against women, or what is known as taste discrimination.

I\’m also absolutely certain that there is indeed a difference between the average wages earned by women and those earned by men (or if you want to be picky, those paid to each). The difference is explained by a mixture of things: choices in jobs, choices in hours put in, there\’s most certainly a huge effect from childbirth and rearing and so on.

One more to add to the list:

When it comes to short periods of sick leave, women take almost 50% more time than men. This was found in a study conducted in Finland, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine on February 5, 2008. However, when long term sick leave is evaluated, neither women nor men are dominant.

Researchers Laaksonen, Martikainen, Rahkonen, and Lahelma assessed periods of sick leave in a population of 7000 municipal workers in Helsinki, Finland between 2002 and 2005. Aged between 40 and 60 years, they were surveyed regarding their working lives and general health.

For short periods of self-certified sick leave, women were 46% more likely than men to call in. When certified by a doctor, they were also a third more likely to take a short term sick leave. However, diagnosed illnesses explained only about one third of the differences in self certified and one half of doctor certified sick leave.

But diagnosed illness explained only about a third of the difference in spells of self certified sick leave and about half of that certified by a doctor. The authors suggest in explanation that women may be better at recognizing problems and going to the doctor for treatment.

For periods longer than two weeks, the gender differences in sick leave weakened. By the time a leave is at a period of 60 days or more, men and women show few differences. This indicates that the divide between males and female sick leave is largely in short term periods of leave rather than long term.

Women commonly reported physical health problems, physical work demands, and work fatigue as reasons for leave. The psychological conditions of working and family related factors appeared to affect both genders equally, as did physical problems.

3 thoughts on “Explaining a Little More of the Gender Pay Gap”

  1. FFS – Women have periods, a couple of day every month of stomach cramping, mind blowing pain ( in some cases). As an office manager I had to take down the calendar board where we marked down holidays and sickness as it became obvious which days Kulkuka would take off every month and she felt it was discriminatory. I’m sorry, but it happens, how you square that with equal pay I will leave to politicians who earn a lot more than me.

  2. ” I’m sorry, but it happens, how you square that with equal pay I will leave to politicians who earn a lot more than me.”

    I think I’d rather leave it to you than politicians.

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