Many part-time women workers short-changed

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ALMOST half of Wigan borough’s women working part time earn less than the Living Wage, shocking new figures reveal.

Statistics from the North West Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveal that 42 per cent of women in Wigan were working for less than £7.85 an hour for part time hours.

And Leigh emerges as the third worst area in the region, with a staggering 66 per cent of women earning below the living wage.

In Makerfield, however, only has 39 per cent of female part-timers fall into that category.

Across the region, more than two in five part-time women’s jobs pay less than the Living Wage.

But TUC analysis of official figures shows that earning less than the Living Wage is the norm for women part-time workers in 22 of the North West’s Parliamentary constituencies.

The organisation claims that the lack of skilled, decently-paid, part-time jobs affects women’s pay and their career prospects far more than it does men. It argues that even though the Chancellor has introduced a minimum wage premium for over 25s it is still well below the Living Wage and will be undermined by his new cuts to tax credits.

The TUC is now campaigning for more employers to pay the Living Wage, which would help tackle the growing scourge of in-work poverty and make big inroads into closing the scandalous 33 per cent part-time pay penalty. It also wants to see more well-paid jobs across all sectors and grades advertised on a part-time basis. Recent analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Timewise Foundation found that for every one part-time job vacancy advertised at £20,000 (pro-rata) there were 18 full-time vacancies at this level.

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.”