Women in full-time employment will effectively work for nothing from now until 2016

Equal Pay Day, given its name by women’s rights campaigner Fawcett Society, marks the point in the year when the average woman stops being paid in comparison to male counterparts. Having started on 9 November 2015, the day has arrived five days later than in 2014, suggesting that the pay gap has narrowed.

However, at the current rate of progress, Fawcett Society is convinced it will take 50 years to close the gap.

“There has never been a better opportunity to close the pay gap for good,” said Fawcett Society CEO Sam Smethers. “Progress has stalled in recent years but with real commitment from government and employers, together with action from women and men at work, we could speed up progress towards the day when we can consign it to history.

“It is time to have the conversation and ask your employer if they are ready for the new pay gap reporting requirements.”

The Women and Equalities Committee also recently launched an inquiry into how the government is tackling the gender pay gap for employees over the age of 40.

Committee chair, former equalities minister Maria Miller, said: “The measures already announced by the government dont target this group. Well be asking about barriers to promotion; recruitment and training; problems facing women in predominantly female sectors and non-professional roles and much more. Our inquiry will make recommendations that will tackle the gender pay gap where it hits the hardest.”

The results were further supported by a report from TUC, which revealed the pay gap was even more pronounced among higher earning individuals. Figures showed the top five per cent of earners saw men get paid 45.9 per cent more than women. Among the top two per cent, this difference grew to 54.9 per cent.

General secretary of the TUC, Frances OGrady, said: It is shocking the UK still has such a large gender pay differences at the top of the labour market after more than four decades of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation.

“We need pay transparency, equal pay audits and a requirement on companies to tackle gender inequality or face fines.

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