Two-Thirds Of Workers Earning Under Living Wage Female

3 August 2017, 08:21 | Updated: 3 August 2017, 08:44

British money

Almost two-thirds of workers who earn less than the Living Wage are female, with nearly 300,000 women in Scotland not being paid at this level, new figures have revealed.

There are 466,000 Scots whose salary is less than the Living Wage - which is currently set at £8.45 an hour for people outside of London.

The figures, from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) showed that 64% of this group are women, with 297,000 female workers receiving a lower salary.

That means that 24.3% of all females who are in employment receive less than the Living Wage, while the equivalent for men was 15.4%

Labour, which proposes a £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020, said the figures came in the wake of recent salary information from the BBC.

Shadow Scottish secretary Lesley Laird said: "The gender pay gap has been in the news recently, with the disparity between men and women at the top of the BBC's payroll exposed.

"But while the debate in recent weeks has been focused on those at the top, pay inequality continues to impact millions of people across the country.

"These figures show almost 300,000 women in Scotland earn less than the Living Wage, with significantly fewer men in the same situation.

"Not only are women paid less than men, and with more barriers to progression, but hundreds of thousands in Scotland are paid less than the Living Wage.

"A Labour government would be focused on reducing the gender pay cap, not on protecting the privileged few. We would increase the minimum wage to a real Living Wage of £10 per hour and, as part of our plan for rights at work, we would ensure companies comply with gender equality legislation."

A spokesman for Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "It is deeply regrettable that Labour teamed up with the Tories to oppose the devolution of employment law, responsibility for the minimum wage, work-related benefits, tax credits and much more - ensuring that these powers remain in the hands of the Tories at Westminster.

"With the limited powers that the Scottish Government does have, we are doing everything we can to promote fair pay. The full-time gender pay gap in Scotland is significantly narrower in Scotland than across the UK, and Scotland has the highest proportion of employees paid at least the Living Wage.

"Through our approach to fair working practices in procurement, our support for living wage accreditation, the business pledge and the Fair Work Convention, we intend to continue to build on this progress.

"We are also taking steps to ensure women are better represented in senior and decision-making roles, on public boards, challenging pregnancy and maternity discrimination and funding returners' programmes to help women update their skills after a career break."