Thursday, 26 June 2008

Equality for the low paid

News in the mainstream media today about a bill to be introduced in the Queen's Speech for the next term of Parliament concerning equality in the workplace. Various sources quote the minister involved, Harriet Harman, as saying the pay gap between full time males and part time women employees is 40% or more. So, how are statistics being manipulated this time? How about a bit of sampling? Hard to do if you haven't got access to wage data. Next best thing siting on La Lobster's desk a vacancies list intended for a professional (i.e. qualified/degree caliber) audience. Admittedly it is a notoriously badly paid profession but lets see if there is a distinction in the advertised rates - assuming men and women have an equal opportunity to apply and be appointed to the posts. Out of a total of 48 posts in the list for 27th June 2008 37 are for full time and 11 for part time roles. The average hourly rate for the full time posts works out at £13.15 and the average for the part time posts £13.14 per hour. Well, on the face of it there is equality for the lowly paid professional already. National statistics say otherwise!

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