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Gender pay gap for women in their 50s will not close til 2050, Labour claims

29 May 2023 2 minute read
The gender pay gap, PA Images Joe Giddens

The gender pay gap for women in their 50s will not close until 2050 at current rates, Labour has claimed.

The disparity within this age group stands at 11.7% – having closed by 5.1% since 2010 when the Tories first came to power, according to party analysis of official figures.

“On current trends, the pay gap would not be eradicated for this cohort for 27 years, meaning nearly all in the ‘equal pay generation’ will never experience their working life without a significant gender pay gap,” the Opposition said.

The intervention comes on the anniversary of the Equal Pay Act – introduced in 1970 by a Labour government to ban any less favourable treatment between men and women in employment.

The party said its calculations were based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) annual survey of hours and earnings (Ashe) data.


Anneliese Dodds, shadow women and equalities secretary, said: “The equal pay generation have been abandoned by the Conservatives, thanks to 13 years of inaction and economic stagnation.

“Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s deserve so much better than this. How can it be right for these women – the heroines taking kids or grandkids to school, caring for elderly parents and navigating a career sometimes also while experiencing menopausal symptoms – to be left behind, condemned to decades of disproportionately low pay?

“We want to see women thrive in this period of their life, not simply survive.

“Labour will take action to finally close the pernicious gender pay gap once and for all.”

A Government spokesman said: “Government has taken significant action to support women at work.

“The Chancellor recently announced a childcare revolution with 30 hours free childcare for children over the age of nine months, in December we announced that millions of employees will be able to request flexible working from day one, and earlier this month we launched recruitment for our programme to get Stem returners back into the workplace.

“We strongly urge organisations to take steps to ensure female employees reach their full potential.”

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