Women’s Equality Party warns that Brexit will increase gender pay gap

Women’s Equality Party warns that Brexit will increase gender pay gap

Women’s Equality Party warns that Brexit will increase gender pay gap

The Women’s Equality Party has today warned that the gender pay gap is likely to increase if the UK leaves the EU, making women more vulnerable to exploitation and violence.

Commenting on Fawcett Society research, which showed that almost no progress had been made in closing the pay gap, Interim Leader Mandu Reid said:

“Every economist agrees that any form of Brexit will be bad for our economy, and a hard Brexit or no deal Brexit even more so. If that happens jobs and wages will be cut and women and minorities will pay the price because they are more likely to be in lower paid and insecure employment.”

“We are already seeing the devastation wrought on women’s jobs in precarious sectors such as social care and retail. Over 100 care home operators collapsed in 2018, and 85,000 jobs in retail were lost over the last year."

“With the further impact of Brexit, more women will be driven into part-time work or out of work entirely, widening the gender pay gap - which is the average difference between men and women's earnings - reducing their financial independence and making them more vulnerable to violence. Cuts to vital support services could leave those women isolated and in potentially dangerous situations.”

“Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal throws petrol on the pay gap by dumping the few protections we have into the Political Declaration, which is not legally binding.”

“We are calling for any government that pursues Brexit to introduce a strategy to address the catastrophic loss of jobs women face, including restoring benefits and services, and a new bill to end violence against women in the first 100 days of parliament.”


Notes to editors

  • The Fawcett Society has calculated the 14th November is the day that on average, women working full-time  effectively stop being paid compared to men because of the gender pay gap (which is published by the ONS). It is slightly later than last year, which fell on the 10th November. The mean gap for full-time workers has slightly narrowed slightly (but not statistically significantly) from 13.9% to 13.1%.
  • When part-time workers are included, the gap increases to 16.2%. Far more women work part-time than men - 42% of women compared to 15% of men. 
  • A report by Agenda in 2016 evidenced the links between women’s poverty and abuse in England. They found that women in poverty were twice as likely as other women to experience almost every form of interpersonal violence and abuse covered in the study.
  • Analysis by the IPPR found that a hard Brexit was likely to have a greater impact on women’s jobs than men’s overall, and even more so in a no deal scenario.

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