French gender pay gap will not end for another 1,000 years

French gender pay gap will not end for another 1,000 years, new study suggests

  • Study finds the smallest gender pay gap in the EU is in Romania at three per cent
  • Report says France would take more than 1,000 years to eliminate its pay gap 
  • Researchers said the gap had dropped from 15.6 in 2010 to 15.5 per cent in 2018 

It will take the French more than 1,000 years to end the pay gap between men and women at the rate it is closing, a study claimed yesterday.

The gap dropped from 15.6 in 2010 to 15.5 per cent in 2018, researchers said.

Germany will take 100 years to close the gap, they added, and Ireland may never reach equal pay because the gap is still growing. 

It will take the French more than 1,000 years to end the pay gap between men and women at the rate it is closing, a study claimed yesterday

The European Trade Union Confederation found the smallest pay gap in the EU is in Romania, at just 3 per cent.

The figures, which include part-time jobs, do not cover Britain but UK data shows the gender pay gap for all workers in 2019 was 17.3 per cent.

Esther Lynch, of the European Trade Union Confederation, told EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: ‘It was disappointing that there is no mention of gender pay in your state of the union address particularly given the role of women in the frontline of Covid-19 response.’

The report, based on EU statistics, said that France would take more than 1,000 years to eliminate its pay gap, which dropped from 15.6 to 15.5 per cent between 2010 and 2018. 

Germany will take another 100 years – until 2021 – to close its 20.9 per cent gap, it said.

The narrowest pay gap in the EU27 is in Romania, where the difference is just three per cent. 

This is thought to be because in less developed EU countries fewer women work, and those that do tend to be in high prestige jobs.

In Luxembourg the gap is 4.6 per cent and in Belgium six per cent. One reason for this is that men and women generally do different jobs, so women figure highly among the well-rewarded administrative and banking jobs in Belgium and Luxembourg. 

In Germany or France, by contrast, there are many more well-paid jobs in manufacturing which are dominated by men.

The European Trade Union Confederation found the smallest pay gap in the EU is in Romania, at just 3 per cent. Voters in the Romanian capital of Bucharest are seen having their temperatures checked before they go in to vote in the country’s election

The figures cover hourly pay of all employees and are regarded by Britain’s Office for National Statistics as potentially misleading, because they include part-time pay.

Many women move to part-time work after they have children, and part-time jobs attract lower pay than full-time work. In Britain, not included in the EU report, the gap for all workers in 2018 was 17.3 per cent, and 8.9 per cent among full-time workers, the ONS said.

However in Britain there is no pay gap at all between men and women under 40 – effectively before many women withdraw from full-time work because of having children. The ONS said last year: ‘For age groups under 40 years, the gender pay gap for full-time employees is now close to zero.’

Equality charity the Fawcett Society estimate it will take 60 years to eradicate the UK’s overall gap at the current rate.

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