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NEWS: NO SAFETY NET FOR UK'S WORST PAID WOMEN

Millions of working women face financial insecurity, according to new research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society for International Women's Day

A poll of women earning below the real Living Wage, conducted by Survation, found that of working women paid less than the real Living Wage of £10.20 an hour in London, and £8.75 outside of London (a quarter of all working women):

  • A third (33% or 1.12 million women) have no savings at all, including pensions
  • Nearly half (43%) have less than £100 saved, too little to cover a financial emergency
  • If they were to lose their job
    - 61% have savings for a month or less
    - 33% have savings for less than a week
  • If their bills were to increase:
    - 49% would cut down on food
    - 41% would cut down on heating
  • 39% have more than £500 of debt, while 31% have more than £1,000 of debt
  • Over a quarter (25.1%) are spending more than £100 servicing debt each month.
  • 94% worry about their financial situation
  • 66% do not see their financial situation improving within a year

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

"The precariousness of life for women earning little more than the government minimum shows the need for more employers to take a stand by paying the real Living Wage based on what people need to make ends meet. Our research shows that debt and financial insecurity is widespread for low paid women, with many struggling to save for a rainy day."

"The precariousness of life for women earning little more than the government minimum shows the need for more employers to take a stand by paying the real Living Wage based on what people need to make ends meet."

Tess Lanning
Director,
Living Wage Foundation

Jemima Olchawski, Head of Policy and Insight at the Fawcett Society, said:

“Women are much more likely to be in low paid work. Often that might be because they need flexibility or part time work to meet caring responsibilities that they just can’t find in better paid roles. It’s also because society undervalues women and the work they do; jobs dominated by women such as caring roles are consistently amongst the lowest paid.

“Employers can help lift their staff out of poverty and close the gender pay gap by paying the real Living Wage. To maximise the talent available to them recruiters should make all jobs flexible by default, so a wider range of people can progress at work. We’d urge larger employers to take the opportunity of pay gap reporting to look closely at the nature and causes of the gap in their organisation and make an action plan to close it.”

8th March 2018, 00:01
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