Toggle high contrast
Issue date
Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man – is today (Wednesday 4 March)
  • Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man – is today (Wednesday 4 March) 

  • In parts of the UK where the gender pay gap is wider, women work for free for longer. And in some industries women have to wait until April or even May for their Women’s Pay Day 

The average woman effectively works for free for two months of the year compared to the average man, according to analysis published by the TUC today (Wednesday). 

The gender pay gap for all employees is 17.3%. This pay gap means that women have to wait 63 days before they start to get paid on Women’s Pay Day today. 

Industrial gender pay gaps 

The analysis published today – which is also the first day of the TUC’s annual women’s conference in London – shows that there are still big gender pay gaps in many industries. 

Even in jobs dominated by female workers like education and social care the gender pay gap persists. In these sectors women get paid much less per hour on average than men, both because they are more likely to be in part-time jobs or are in lower-paid roles.  

  • In education the gender pay gap is 25.4%, so the average woman effectively works for free for more than a quarter of the year (93 days) and has to wait until Thursday 2 April 2020 before she starts getting paid compared to the average man. 

  • In professional, scientific and technical jobs, the average woman waits 88 days for her Women’s Pay Day on 28 March 2020. 

  • The longest wait for Women’s Pay Day comes in finance and insurance. The gender pay gap is the equivalent of 123 days, meaning it’s more than a third of the year before Women’s Pay Day finally kicks in on 3 May 2020. 

Regional gender pay gaps 

The analysis shows that in some parts of the country gender pay gaps are even bigger so their Women’s Pay Day is later in the year. 

  • In the South East the gender pay gap is 20.5%, so Women’s Pay Day in that part of the country won’t fall for another 12 days (Sunday 15 March). 

  • And women in the East Midlands (18.9%) and the East of England (19% pay gap) have to wait until next week (9 and 10 March) for their Women’s Pay Day. 

Regional variations in the gender pay gap are likely to be caused by differences in the types of jobs and industries that are most common in that part of the UK. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Our economy is stacked against working women. At this rate, it will take another 50 years to close the gender pay gap. 

“No more excuses: government must get on and sort the gender pay gap now. 

“Just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t enough. Companies must be required to explain what steps they’ll take to close their gender pay gaps – and bosses who don’t comply with the law should be fined. 

“And employers must do more to help women balance family responsibilities and work. Flexible working should be a day one right for everyone at work. 

“Every year unions help thousands of women get the pay they deserve. And workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family-friendly policies and fair pay. That’s why every woman should be in a union.” 


Editors note

- The gender pay gap: The overall gender pay gap is calculated using all median hourly pay, excluding overtime, for all male and female employees using the latest ONS ASHE data. The gender pay gap percentage (17.3% in the latest ASHE data) is then translated into days of the year (63 days) when women start earning the equivalent to men. More information
- This year our women’s pay day is calculated slightly differently from last year. Last year we reported on the day women stopped working for free, rather than the day women start to get paid. Therefore like for like, would mean last year the equivalent pay day fell on 7 March 2019. And if you were to compare last year with this year, the pay day would be 3 March 2020. 
- Women’s Pay Day by region, source the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2019. 


Gender Pay Gap 

Number of days women work for free 

Women’s Pay Day 

South East 


75 days 

15 March 2020 

East of England 


69 days 

10 March 2020 

East Midlands 


69 days 

9 March 2020 

Yorkshire and the Humber 


66 days 

7 March 2020 

West Midlands 


66 days 

7 March 2020 

South West 


64 days 

5 March 2020 



64 days 

4 March 2020 

North East 


64 days 

4 March 2020 

UK average 


63 days 

4 March 2020 

North West 


58 days 

28 February 2020 



53 days 

22 February 2020 



52 days 

22 February 2020 

Northern Ireland 


37 days 

6 February 2020 

- Women’s Pay Day by industry, source ONS ASHE 2019. 


% gender pay gap 

Number of days 

Women’s Pay Day  

Water supply, sewage, waste management 


14 days 

14 January 2020 

Accommodation and food services 


18 days 

18 January 2020 

Transport and storage 


18 days 

19 January 2020 

Admin and support services 


32 days 

2 February 2020 

Agriculture, forestry and fishing 


34 days 

3 February 2020 

Arts, entertainment and recreation 


42 days 

11 February 2020 

Public admin and defence 


54 says 

24 February 2020 

Real estate 


57 days 

26 February 2020 



59 days 

29 February 2020 

Wholesale and retail, motor vehicle repair 


62 days 

3 March 2020 

All employees 


63 days 

4 March 2020 

Human health and social work 


65 days 

5 March 2020 

Information and communication 


65 days 

5 March 2020 



66 days 

7 March 2020 

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning 


87 days 

27 March 2020 

Professional, scientific and technical 


88 days 

28 March 2020 



93 days 

2 April 2020 

Financial and insurance 


123 days 

3 May 2020 

- Since 2011 the gender pay gap has fallen by an average of just 0.4 percentage points a year. At this rate it will take around 50 years (until 2067) to achieve pay parity between men and women.

- Gender pay gap reporting:  From 1 April 2017, the government ruled that large companies have to publish information about the difference between average male and female earnings. The TUC believes the government must go further and wants employers to be made to carry out equal pay audits, and to produce action plans to close the pay gap in their workplace. The TUC also wants companies that fail to comply with the law to receive instant fines.  
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).

Setup now