City praised over living wage steps

Lynn Collins
Lynn Collins
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Preston is one of the few places in the North West which is minimising the number of women working part-time who are poorly paid, says the TUC.

Research shows that at least a third of women in the region working part time earn less than the living wage.

In parts of the North West, the problem is even greater, with nearly three quarters of all female part time workers in West Lancashire paid below the living wage – the highest of any local authority in the UK.

The TUC says women earn just 66p for every pound earned by men working full-time (which is a pay gap of 34.2 per cent). One of the main reasons for this huge gender pay divide is the large concentration of women doing low-paid, part-time work, it is claimed.

Across the UK, around two in five part-time jobs pay less than the living wage.

TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library paints a picture of how Lancaster has the lowest proportion of women working part time for less than the living wage at 33.4 per cent, followed by Manchester on 34.1 per cent and Preston on 24.8 per cent.

The TUC believes that local authorities should lead by example by becoming living wage employers themselves.

Several local authorities, such as Preston, Blackpool, Salford and Wirral are already living wage employers but many more need to become accredited, says the TUC.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “In-work poverty is growing throughout the North West and it’s often women that bear the brunt of low pay.

“Women would gain most from a greater take-up of the living wage by employers. Councils can lead the way by becoming living wage employers themselves.”