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New TUC analysis reveals Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman stops working for free compared to the average man – is today (Wednesday).

But the pay gap in the South West is higher than average, with women in the region effectively working nearly two months (59 days) for free.

Union body says Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be “huge boost” for working women, by introducing fair pay agreements in social care, banning zero-hours contracts and giving all workers a day one right to flexible work.

New TUC analysis published today (Wednesday) reveals that the average woman effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man. 

This is because the gender pay gap for all employees currently stands at 14.3%. 

This pay gap means that working women must wait 52 daysnearly two months – before they stop working for free on Women’s Pay Day today (Wednesday). 

And the analysis also shows that at current rates of progress, it will take 20 years – until 2044to close the gender pay gap. 

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. 

  • The gender pay gap is largest in the South East of England (18.9%). Women in this region work 69 days for free and they work for free until Friday 8 March 2024. 

  • And women in the South West (16.2% pay gap) work for free until Wednesday 28 February 2024. 

The TUC explains that regional variations in the 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 country, and gender differences in who does these jobs. 

TUC Regional Secretary Ines Lage said: 

Everyone should be paid fairly for the job that they do. 

Its shameful that working women don’t have pay parity in 2024. And at current rates of progress, it will take another two decades to close the gender pay gap. 

That's not right. We can’t consign yet another generation of women to pay inequality. 

It’s clear that just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t working. Companies must be required to publish and implement action plans to close their pay gaps. And bosses who don’t comply with the law should be fined. 

“Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be a huge boost to working women. 

“It would introduce a day one right to flexible working and fair pay agreements to boost pay and conditions in social care – which we know is a predominantly female workforce. 

“It would also see mandatory action plans to close the gender pay gap and extending reporting to disability and ethnicity pay gaps. 

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 Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) data. The gender pay gap percentage (14.3% in the latest ASHE data) is then translated into days.
The latest ASHE data is available at:
- Gender pay gap data is taken from ASHE, which does not provide a breakdown by ethnicity or disability status. Previous analysis by the TUC, based on Labour Force Survey data, has looked at the disability pay gap and how it intersects with the gender pay gap:

- Women’s pay day by region, source ONS ASHE, 2023.


Gender pay gap

Number of days women work for free

Women’s Pay Day

South East




East of England




East Midlands




Yorkshire and the Humber




South West




West Midlands




North West




North East








UK average
















Northern Ireland




NB: Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same number of days worked for free, but different pay day dates. This is because of rounding.

- Amount of time to close the gender pay gap: Over the past five years, the gender pay gap has fallen by an average of just 0.7 percentage points a year. At this current rate of progress, it will take 20 years, until 2044, to achieve pay parity between men and women:,not%20be%20closed%20until%202044

- Women’s Pay Day 2023: Last year the gender pay gap for all employees was 14.9% so women’s pay day fell on Thursday 23 February 2023.
- Gender pay gap reporting:  From 1 April 2017, the government ruled that large companies must 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 and implement 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. 
- Disability pay gap: Analysis published by the TUC in November revealed that non-disabled men are paid on average 30% (£3.73 an hour, £130.55 a week, or £6,780 a year) more than disabled women:
- Labour’s New Deal for Working People: Labour has pledged to deliver new rights for working people in an employment bill in its first 100 days. The TUC says that Labour’s New Deal would be transformative for working people. Amongst other rights, it would:

  • Introduce mandatory action plans for gender pay gap reporting – and extend reporting to disability and ethnicity pay gap reporting.
  • Give all workers day one rights on the job. Labour will scrap qualifying time for basic rights, such as unfair dismissal, sick pay, and parental leave.
  • Ban zero-hours contracts to help end the scourge of insecure work.
  • Strengthen flexible working rights by introducing a day one right to work flexibly. Strengthen collective bargaining by introducing fair pay agreements to boost pay and conditions – starting in social care.

- The TUC’s gender pay gap: Information about the TUC’s pay gaps is available at:
- 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.

TUC press office
020 7467 1248

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