Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 20, May 30, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Coronavirus Pandemic

Working Women Bearing the Brunt of the Coronavirus Crisis

"Coronavirus has confirmed that working women are still underpaid and undervalued in Britain today," the TUC said on May 29, the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

TUC analysis shows that women are much more likely than men to be key workers and, when they are, are much more likely to be on low pay. Of an estimated 9.8 million key workers, nearly two-thirds are women. And 2.6 million women key workers earn less than £10 an hour.

TUC General Frances O'Grady said: "50 years after brave women won the legal right to equal pay, coronavirus has confirmed that pay inequality is still rife in Britain today.

"Working women have led the fight against coronavirus, but millions of them are stuck in low paid and insecure jobs. That is not right.

"As we emerge from this crisis, we need a reckoning on how we value and reward women's work. Without proper change it will take decades to close the gender pay gap."

Estimates of key worker earnings are based on the government's list of key occupations and data from the most recent Labour Force Survey(Q4,2019). The TUC's analysis suggests there are up to 9.8 million key workers, and that 3.7 million are paid below £10 per hour. This is based, the TUC report, on linking four-digit occupation codes to government guidance, which is open to interpretation.


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