Here’s the Harsh Truth About England's Pay Gap

By Meredith Lepore

It's really scary to think that women working in England will essentially be working for free from now until Dec 31. Happy holidays, indeed.

Data shows that the gap in earnings between men and women working full-time is now 14.2 percent, which comes out to 52 days of work. This disparity is most apparent among the highest earners, with the top two percent of male earners receiving £40,000 ($60,000 U.S. dollars) more than their female counterparts.

Though the country is making efforts to close the gap, like Prime Minister David Cameron making companies with over 250 employees publish information about the difference between average male and female earnings, there is still an extremely long way to go.

The British government also launched a shared parental leave system in April, which enables parents to split 50 weeks of leave between them and receive statutory pay. However, it’s not being embraced that much since men are typically the high earners in England.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, "These figures show that the glass ceiling is barely cracked, let alone broken. It is shocking the U.K. still has such a large gender pay difference at the top of the labour market after more than four decades of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation. We need pay transparency, equal pay audits, and a requirement on companies to tackle gender inequality — or face fines."

Just like Americans, they have their work cut out for them when it comes to closing the wage gap. What you can do? Ask 4 more.

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