Education has one of the worst gender pay gaps within the labour market, with female employees effectively working 95 days for free compared to men, the TUC has said.
According to an analysis published by the union group, education has the third worse gender pay gap of 16 different sectors measured.
Analysing the median hourly pay – excluding overtime – for male and female employees based on data from the Office for National Statistics, the TUC found female education workers earned 25.9 per cent less than men.
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This is compared to an average gender pay gap across the labour market of 17.9 per cent. The only sectors worse than education are electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (a 26.8 per cent gap) and the financial and insurance sector (35.7 per cent).
According to the TUC, the gender gap in education means that, compared to men, a female employee effectively works 95 days – until 4 April – for free.
The TUC has published the analysis today because it is "Women’s Pay Day" – the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe. Women effectively work for free for two months of the year – and, at current rates of progress, it’ll take another 60 years for this gap to close.
“Making employers publish information on their gender pay gaps is a start but it’s nowhere near enough. Employers must be legally required to explain how they’ll tackle pay inequality at their workplaces and advertise jobs on a more flexible basis.
“Women in the UK will only start to get paid properly when part-time jobs are better-paid and jobs are flexible from day one. And we need higher wages in key sectors like social care.
“Workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family-friendly policies and fair pay. So a good first step for women worried about their pay is to join a union.”