Many part-time women workers short-changed

ALMOST half of Wigan borough’s women working part time earn less than the Living Wage, shocking new figures reveal.
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Statistics from the North West Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveal that 42 per cent of women in Wigan were working for less than £7.85 an hour for part time hours.

And Leigh emerges as the third worst area in the region, with a staggering 66 per cent of women earning below the living wage.

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In Makerfield, however, only has 39 per cent of female part-timers fall into that category.

Across the region, more than two in five part-time women’s jobs pay less than the Living Wage.

But TUC analysis of official figures shows that earning less than the Living Wage is the norm for women part-time workers in 22 of the North West’s Parliamentary constituencies.

The organisation claims that the lack of skilled, decently-paid, part-time jobs affects women’s pay and their career prospects far more than it does men. It argues that even though the Chancellor has introduced a minimum wage premium for over 25s it is still well below the Living Wage and will be undermined by his new cuts to tax credits.

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The TUC is now campaigning for more employers to pay the Living Wage, which would help tackle the growing scourge of in-work poverty and make big inroads into closing the scandalous 33 per cent part-time pay penalty. It also wants to see more well-paid jobs across all sectors and grades advertised on a part-time basis. Recent analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Timewise Foundation found that for every one part-time job vacancy advertised at £20,000 (pro-rata) there were 18 full-time vacancies at this level.

TUC regional secretary Lynn Collins said: “Working part-time shouldn’t mean poverty pay, but for lots of women in the North West that is the reality. The Living Wage was created to provide workers with a basic standard of living. However, many part-time women in our region earn well below £7.85 an hour and now face being hit by the Chancellor’s cuts to tax credits which will wipe out any gains from his new minimum wage premium.”