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International Equal Pay Day 2021

This 18th September, International Equal Pay Day is celebrated for the first time to mark the enduring efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value worldwide. This special day builds on the United Nations commitment to human rights, which includes their pledge to stand against all forms of discrimination.

Sat 18th September 2021 The PDA

In the UK, equal pay for equal work was made a legal right over 50 years ago in the Equal Pay Act 1970, but pay discrimination continues. Only 3 in 10 working women agreed that their employer would tell them if their male colleagues earned more for the same work, if they asked. Unless a woman knows what her colleagues earn, she cannot know if she is being paid equally. Further inequality for those from minority ethnic backgrounds is increasingly being identified and highlighted.

As part of its ongoing action against discrimination, the PDA is working with The Equality Trust to collate information on gender and ethnicity pay gaps within the pharmacy sector to identify if there might be any evidence of unequal pay in workplaces, and if there is, help PDA members to address it. A survey gathering this information will initially be trialled with a proportion of the PDA membership, so will first only go to those at a selection of employers.

Paul Day, PDA Director, said “PDA takes action for our members as well as participating in the debate about discrimination. As an independent trade union, we are able to support individuals challenge discrimination from employers, and as part of the wider trade union movement we influence the law and practice in this area. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion networks also ensure we influence in favour of all types of equality in pharmacy.”

Naina Chotai, President of the National Association of Women Pharmacists, added, “The gender pay gap is the most often discussed, and must be closed, but ethnicity, disability, and other discrimination-related pay gaps are just as unacceptable and must also be exposed and eradicated. We’re delighted that the PDA is tackling this issue.”

Sophi Berridge, Senior Campaigns Officer at The Equality Trust, commented, “It is unacceptable that fifty years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970, we must continue to fight for equal pay. The work we are doing with the PDA to collect data around salaries will help to bring out greater transparency in the fight for equal pay, helping to shift the narrative around pay secrecy and create allyship when tackling unequal pay practices.”

Elsy Gomez Campos, President of the BAME Pharmacists’ Network, concluded “Unequal pay is not just individuals with different characteristics doing the same job for less pay, it can also mean individuals with certain characteristics are less likely to have the opportunities and recognition that they need to obtain higher paid roles. Intersectionality needs to be considered, for example the treatment of Black women.”


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