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Part-time workers earn a third less per hour than full-time workers


Part-time workers, mostly women, earn a third less per hour than people in full-time jobs, a Trades Union Congress (TUC) study reveals.

The 36% pay gap between part-time and full-time workers is the main barrier to closing the gender pay gap and tackling in-work poverty, the TUC says today.

The TUC claims there are at present over eight million part-time workers in the UK, nearly three-quarters of who are female. However, the proportion of men working part-time today is at an all-time high, with the number of male part-time workers more than doubling in the last 20 years.

A large number of part-time workers live in poverty, says the TUC with an average wage of just £8 per hour. Two fifths of part-time workers in the UK earn less than the living wage of £7.45 an hour, while two in five part-time workers in the capital earn less than the London living wage of £8.55.

The lack of high quality part-time work is illustrated by the fact that the five highest paid occupations - aircraft pilots, chief executives and directors of advertising and PR, marketing and sales, and telecommunications firms - are all are dominated by men and have a negligible number of part-time positions.

In contrast, four of the five worst paid occupations - waiters and waitresses, bar staff, catering assistants and launderers - are dominated by women and have more part-time jobs than full-time ones.

More high quality part-time work is the key to reducing in-work poverty and closing the gender pay gap, says the TUC.

TUC general secretary designate Frances O'Grady said: "Most women become part-time workers to balance work and caring responsibilities. This shouldn't mean also having to abandon their careers and accept poverty wages. It cannot be right that two in five part-time workers don't even earn the living wage."

O'Grady added: "No healthy modern economy should have an enduring gender pay gap and growing in-work poverty. Unfortunately common sense solutions such as senior level job shares and flexible working are rarely available in the private sector, and are now under attack in the public sector. Unless we change the way we work we will never eliminate the pay gap or tackle poverty."