Women ‘stuck in working poverty’

Lynn Collins TUC

Lynn Collins TUC

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Nearly half of all women working part time in the North West earn less than the Living Wage, according to new TUC statistics.

Across the region, an average of 45.5 per cent women’s part-time jobs pay less than the Living Wage.

In Preston, that figure falls slightly to 43.7 per cent, and in Ribble Valley 43.6 per cent.

Lancaster and Fleetwood fares better at just 31.5 per cent.

West Lancashire was the worst in the region at a massive 71.6 per cent.

The TUC says earning less than the Living Wage is the norm for women part-time workers in 22 of the North West’s Parliamentary constituencies.

The Living Wage is currently £7.85 an hour.

With women accounting for almost three-quarters of Britain’s six-million strong part-time workforce, the lack of skilled, decently-paid, part-time jobs affects women’s pay and their career prospects far more than it does men, says the TUC.

The TUC is concerned that despite three years of stronger economic growth, many working women still remain trapped in in-work poverty.

TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Working part-time shouldn’t mean poverty pay, but for lots of women in the North West that is the reality.

“The Living Wage was created to provide workers with a basic standard of living. However, many part-time women in our region earn well below £7.85 an hour and now face being hit by the Chancellor’s cuts to tax credits which will wipe out any gains from his new minimum wage premium.

“Our labour market is failing to deliver for many women. If we don’t create better opportunities and increase wages for part-time staff then women will continue to bear the brunt of in-work poverty.”