Employment figures Scotland: 'Women disproportionately impacted by low pay', says Scottish Trade union movement

A Scottish trade union movement has called for action as it claims the labour market is “scarred by low and unequal pay for women”.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), the national trade union centre in Scotland, has said society “needs to challenge gender segregation” in Scotland as it cites recent employment figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

Scotland’s estimated employment rate of people aged 16 and 64 fell from 74.9% to to 74.1% between October and December 2021.

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The estimated unemployment rate among people aged from 16 and over remained unchanged at 4.1%.

Despite higher employment rates for women in Scotland- at 72.2% between October and December – Roz Foyer, the general secretary from the STUC, said significant issues remain for women.

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Ms Foyer told the BBC: "We still have a gender pay gap of 15% and one of the big reasons for that is the way that women’s traditional areas of work have been historically undervalued.”

In Scotland, women dominate many roles which earn less than £10 an hour.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), the national trade union centre in Scotland, has said that women are 'disproportionately' impacted by low pay as the Office for National Statistics release employment figures.

Women make up 82% of residential carers, 77% of cleaners, 96% of nursery nurses and 76% of retail cashiers in Scotland.

The general secretary said: "Part-time hours is part of it [the issues for women] but the reason why many women are working part-time is because they are carrying out unpaid work in the home caring for family and carrying out domestic work.

"Even when you look at full-time employees the pay gap on gender is around 8% so we clearly still have an issue where women are being disproportionately impacted by low pay.”

Ms Foyer said she was not surprised by the overall figures as she said “the rate of inactivity in the labour market is growing”.

"I think that’s got a lot to do with the issues that we have around making work pay,”, Ms Foyer said, adding there is a “huge issue” with under-employment and take-home is “very low”.

"We’ve got almost half of working adults in Scotland bringing home an income of less than £15,000 a year.”, she said, "Only 30% of Scottish workers bring home an income of more that £25,000 a year.”

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