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Women benefit from Living Wage expansion

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Women in part-time work are most likely to benefit from a pay increase to the real Living Wage

More women are set to receive a pay rise as efforts in Scotland to address the gender pay gap continue.

Women in part-time work are most likely to benefit from Living Wage employer accreditation, according to recent findings from Living Wage Scotland.

The campaign group has released findings today, International Women’s Day, which show that women in part-time work are most likely to benefit from a pay increase to the real Living Wage of £9 per hour as a result of Living Wage employer accreditation.

Julie McGahan, Living Wage Scotland manager, said the Living Wage is benefitting women across the country.

She said: “This is the first time that Living Wage Scotland have been able to offer an analysis of gender in relation to the number of workers in Scotland being uplifted to the real Living Wage as a result of their employer becoming accredited.

“We were able to look at sample figures which account for 13,122 workers in Scotland. An analysis of these figures show that women in part-time work account for 66% of the workers uplifted to the real Living Wage. We also found that women in full-time employment are more likely to benefit from pay increases to the real Living Wage than men, and men working part-time more likely to benefit than men who are in full-time employment.

“I think our findings demonstrate that there is good potential for Living Wage Scotland to affect some change in the number of women in part-time work receiving the real Living Wage, as we work towards our target of delivering pay increases to the Living Wage for at least 25,000 workers over the next three years”.

The results of the study follow the announcement earlier this week that Dundee is the first city in the UK to be recognised for an ambitious plan to become a Living Wage City.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are committed to fair work. More security, decent pay and a greater voice for workers in the companies whose wealth they help to create.

“Our Programme for Government makes clear our determination to reduce gender inequality and improve the position of women in the workplace, and closing the gender pay gap is a priority. Ensuring the real Living Wage is paid by as many companies and organisations as possible is part of that effort.

“Along with setting up a working group to inform a new gender pay gap action plan, we are funding several initiatives to support women to return and progress in the workplace. We are investing £5 million over the next three years to support around 2,000 women return to work following a career break, and we continue to fund Close the Gap £205,000 to challenge and change employment practices and workplace cultures.”

Anna Ritchie Allan, executive director of Close the Gap, said: “Women’s propensity to work part-time, so that they can balance work with caring roles, means that they’re at higher risk of in-work poverty. The Living Wage is an important mechanism to lift women and their families out of poverty.

“We also need a step change in employer approaches to part-time working. Too often, there’s a cultural presumption against part-time working in senior grades, and in male-dominated jobs and sectors. This prevents women from progressing, and sustains their concentration in the lowest paid jobs in the labour market. Employers that pay their staff the real Living Wage, and enable them to work flexibly at all levels, will be able to benefit from the well-evidenced gains of gender equality at work.”