Equal Pay Day: How we’re working to close the gender pay gap

November 10, 2017

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Today marks Equal Pay Day, the day on which women stop earning relative to men.

According to campaign group the Fawcett Society, for every pound a man earns a woman earns – on average – just 86p. As a union, the FDA is committed to tackling inequality in the workplace, and we are already taking action to help close the gender pay gap.

The Association of Revenue and Customs, the section of the FDA representing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) staff, has calculated that women in Grades 6 and 7 at HMRC are currently paid up to £8,000 less than their male colleagues.

As a result, ARC is pursuing a series of equal pay claims against HMRC in a bid to address the imbalance that women still face at the UK’s tax authority.

Our members in HMRC are tax professionals, accountants, lawyers, statisticians, policy advisors and other senior professionals – roles that, historically, have been male-dominated.

But while more women have been entering these grades over the past decade, this has coincided with the end of earned pay progression in the department. This has resulted in the opportunities for a pay rise being severely curtailed at the same time as more women entered those grades.

Many women are now stuck at the bottom of their pay range with no way of moving up, while men doing similar work – who had already reached the maximum of their range – enjoy higher pay.

ARC believes that this represents indirect discrimination, and our case is currently before the Employment Appeals Tribunal with a hearing set for the new year.

"On Equal Pay Day, it’s vital that we highlight the unacceptable situation of women being paid thousands of pounds less than men for doing work of equal value," said the FDA’s Equality Officer Zohra Francis.

“It cannot be right that, in 2017, women are still being discriminated against and undervalued, earning 15% less than their male counterparts and, in some cases, even managing men who are paid more than them.

“Women in the public sector face a double whammy of the gender pay gap and the ongoing squeeze on public sector pay that only serves to prolong the wait for parity.

“That’s why, as well as taking action through our Equal Pay Claims, we’re calling on the Treasury to end its arbitrary restrictions on wages and acknowledge that public services need fair pay.”