NAWP marks National Equal Pay Day 2021

Thursday 18 November 2021 marks National Equal Pay Day in the UK. This is the day women on average stop earning money until the end of the year compared to men, due to the gender pay gap.

Thu 18th November 2021 The PDA

The Equal Pay Act 1970 was made law more than 50 years ago, yet women still earn less than men and no significant progress has been achieved over the years. In 2017, compulsory gender pay gap reporting for employers with more than 250 employees was introduced but this has not brought about any significant changes in pay between men and women, though it has brought the issue into the limelight.

Furthermore, there is growing concern that the global pandemic is deepening the gender pay gap even more, effectively wiping out the modest gains made over the last few years in tackling unequal pay.

Legally, both men and women are entitled to equal pay for equal work or work that is broadly similar, however, a variety of factors are inadvertently impacting on the gender pay gap. In the case of pharmacists, a female-dominated profession, these are generally attributed to having fewer female pharmacists in senior or high earning jobs, and to women’s caring responsibilities. This includes the ‘motherhood penalty,’ an umbrella term outlining the disadvantages in pay, bonuses, promotions, and perceived competence of working mothers.

While the data used in gender pay gap reporting can be an incredibly useful tool for shining a light on inequality in general, the lack of specific information means that it remains an imperfect tool. In the case of pharmacy, the absence of profession-specific data means that pharmacists do not have a clear picture of the pay difference between males and females.

Nevertheless, there are several ways in which pharmacists can find out if they are receiving equal pay. This can be done by asking other pharmacists, checking job adverts in their workplace, conducting an equal pay questionnaire, or by asking their employers to disclose this information. However, one of the most important avenues towards equal pay is collective bargaining and unionisation of the pharmacist workforce.

Daniela Rusalim, Vice-President of the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP), said “Members of NAWP suspecting they are paid unfairly should get in touch as a matter of priority to be provided with the appropriate advice on the next steps. Equal pay is an important topic to female pharmacists and the PDA’s NAWP Network is committed to supporting women pharmacists in achieving fairer pay.”

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  • For more information about the PDA NAWP Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email: nawp@the-pda.org

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