Equal Pay Day : Going Out of Office

Today, the 10th of November is Equal Pay Day and the Fawcett Society is calling on people to join their campaign, #GetEqual, to fight for equal pay.

The name ‘equal pay day’ can be misleading as it suggests men and women aren’t paid the same- studies have shown men and women in like for like jobs are paid the same- but the almost controversial name makes more pay attention.

Every year Equal Pay Day is calculated based upon the current gender pay gap, this figure is currently 13.7%. This is the day when women begin working for free for the rest of the year. Earlier this year the government introduced gender pay gap regulations, meaning companies with more than 250 employees were required to publish figures showing differences in pay between men and women. The pay gap, as said earlier is not about Peter earning ‘X’ amount more than Penny doing the same job, more so about how women in some jobs can still face a glass ceiling in the workplace.

Those that published their data, 78% paid men more than women, 13% paid women more than men, and 8% had no gender pay gap. There are a number of issues that come into play with pay inequality, the Institute of Economic Affairs has stated that the Fawcett Society’s gender pay gap reporting is misleading, because it does not compare like for like jobs and other factors. A major contributor to the gender pay gap is motherhood: specifically, women taking time out of work to have children, and often returning into part-time work, which is often less well paid. The Think Tank also argues that there is significant evidence showing family, and care obligations still fall primarily on women. This can also result in a higher gender pay gap. The call may not need focus so heavily on gender pay itself, but rather the issues that can cause it. However, Equal Pay Day is an easier way of highlighting the wider issue present.

This year the Fawcett Society, after teaming up with employment law charity YESS Law has been able to launch a new Equal Pay Advice Service funded by an Equal Pay Fund. The service will be targeted at those on low incomes who feel they are experiencing a pay gap and do not have access to legal advice.

Campaigners are calling for women to turn their out of office on today for the rest of the year to highlight the issue. Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party tweeted yesterday: “I’ve switched on my #OutofOffice for the rest of 2018 & my Twitter isn’t working either. Why? Because the #genderpaygap means this is the last day until Jan UK women get paid to work relative to men. The gap is greater for BAME & disabled women.”

Research shows that women are less likely to ask for a pay rise than men, (how to ask for a raise) and according to the World Economic Forum, the gender pay gap across the globe is not set to close till 2186. Whether this is due to scrupulous companies or other deciding factors, women today will work for the rest of the year for free.

Mark the day by turning on your out of office, use the hashtag #GetEqual and #EqualPayDay and spread the word about Fawcett’s new Equal Pay Fund aimed at helping women on low incomes access justice.


This Equal Pay Day, Fawcett are calling on people to be a part of their campaign to fight unequal pay by taking ‘3 steps to #GetEqual’: Talk, Share, and Donate.

  1. Talk to your colleagues and ask what they earn – end the culture of pay secrecy working to the benefit of employers
  2. Share an equals sign on social media and use the hashtags #GetEqual #EqualPayDay. Spread the news about Fawcett’s Equal Pay Advice Service – are you or somebody you know being paid unfairly because of your sex? Apply for the Fund and we may be able help
  3. Donate to the Equal Pay Fund via our GoFundMe page and help women on low incomes access legal advice and claim their rights


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