100,000 more women than men paid less that the living wage - Labour

30 December 2017, 05:29

Gender Pay Gap

Over 100,000 more women than men in Scotland are paid less than the living wage, new analysis has shown.

Scottish Labour analysis of official Scottish Government figures show 270,000 female workers received less than the living wage rate of £8.45 per hour in 2017 compared to 159,000 men.

In total 22% of women in Scotland were paid less than the living wage this year, compared with 14.3% of men.

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Lesley Laird said the gender pay gap was "unacceptable", adding that a UK Labour government would increase the minimum wage to a Real Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020 - a promise matched by the Scottish Government.

She said: "It's not right that over 100,000 more women than men make less than the living wage. One of the reasons for this is low paid professions like caring, cleaning, retail and hospitality tend to employ more women than men.

"2017 was the year we saw controversy about the pay gap between male and female celebrities at the BBC - but this issue isn't just one for the media bubble, it impacts on almost every workplace in the country.

"We need to transform our economy so that it works for the many, not the few. That means boosting pay, cracking down on zero hour contracts and getting tough on companies who think a woman's labour is worth less than a man's."

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: "The full time gender pay gap in Scotland is 6.6%, compared with a UK-wide gap of 9.1% - however the Scottish Government remain committed to seeing that gap closed completely."

He called for the UK Government to devolve employment law to Holyrood and said the Scottish Parliament had used its powers to reduce the gender pay gap by lowering the threshold for listed public authorities to publish their gender pay gap from the UK level of 250 employees to those in Scotland with more than 20 staff.

Mr Hepburn added: "We are also working to make our jobs market fairer, including promoting the real Living Wage, where we punch well above our weight with almost a fifth of all UK Living Wage accredited employers, committing to paying the Living Wage to adult social care workers.

"This is an ambitious commitment, giving up to 40,000 people - mainly women - doing some of the most valuable work in Scotland a well-deserved pay rise."

A report from the independent Scottish Parliamentary Information Centre earlier this year found 64% of workers in Scotland who earn less than the living wage were female, with 297,000 women workers receiving a lower salary.