Flintshire has the highest share of women in low-paid part-time jobs in Wales
The majority of women working part-time in Flintshire earn less than the living wage – the highest proportion in Wales and the ninth highest in Britain – according to research published by Wales TUC.
Women earn just 66p for every pound earned by men working full-time, a pay gap of 34.2 per cent.
One of the main reasons for this huge gender pay divide is the large concentration of women doing low-paid, part-time work, says the TUC.
Wales TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library show that in Flintshire three in five women, around 60 per cent, working part-time are paid below the living wage, Across the UK around two in five part-time jobs pay less than the living wage.
*In Flintshire many of women working part-time earn less than the living wage, which currently stands at £7.85 an hour.
With women accounting for almost three-quarters of Britain’s six-million strong part-time workforce, the lack of skilled, decently-paid, part-time jobs affects women’s pay and their career prospects far more than it does men, says the TUC.
The TUC would like to see more employers paying the living wage, this would help tackle growing issues such as in-work poverty and make big inroads into closing the huge 34 per cent part-time gender pay gap.
[pullquote cite=”Wales TUC” type=”left, right”]Local authorities have a big part to play, they should lead by example by becoming living wage employers themselves.[/pullquote]
At local, devolved and UK government levels, employers can boost take-up of the living wage by encouraging private companies that win public contracts to pay a living wage to their staff.
Industries that are renowned for having large amounts of part time females making up their workforce, such as the leisure industry, should be challenged hard on their commitment to the living wage, those seeking to open new restaurants and of course a cinema at Broughton Retail Park for example, should be encouraged to make a firm commitment to the living wage by Flintshire County Council when applications are submitted.
The TUC also wants to see more jobs advertised on a part-time basis, ending the requirement that women have to be in post for six months before they have the right to request flexible working.
Many women feel unable to ask about the possibility of a shorter working week during a job interview for fear it could adversely affect their chances of success, says the TUC.
Wales TUC National Officer Julie Cook said:
“In-work poverty has grown so dramatically that these workers now outnumber those in poverty without work in Wales. It remains a gross injustice that it is often women who bear the brunt of low pay.
“The living wage was created so that work can provide staff with a basic standard of living. But in places like Flintshire and Blaenau Gwent, most women working part-time are way off earning this.
“Women would gain most from a greater take-up of the living wage by employers. Councils and other public bodies can lead the way by becoming living wage employers themselves. But they also need to work with local employers and unions to use the living wage as part of a fair employment offer to tackle in-work poverty throughout Wales.”
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, said:
“It’s a scandal that there are more part-time women workers in Flintshire earning less than the Living Wage than anywhere else in Wales. Low pay and in-work poverty is a real problem for many families who are struggling to make ends meet and that’s why Plaid Cymru supports a Living Wage.
“In Local Government, Plaid Cymru-run Gwynedd Council has already raised the wages of the lowest-paid staff as part of a long term plan to pay the living wage for all employees. Around 2000 staff have benefited from this and other local councils should follow suit. Plaid has also pledged to pay the Living Wage – currently around £7.65 an hour – in the public sector when finance allows.”
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