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PDA calls on the government to tackle inequality in pharmacy

This Equal Pay Day, the PDA is asking the government to take meaningful action to resolve the gender pay gap by tackling the root causes of inequality.

Wed 22nd November 2023 The PDA

Equal Pay Day, led by the Fawcett Society, is a national campaign that marks the day in the year when, because of the gender pay gap, women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to men. As this year’s Equal Pay Day is Wednesday 22 November, it means that women start working for free from today until the end of the year, based on average earnings.

The day raises awareness that, while the gender pay gap continues to slowly decrease year-on-year, women across the country are still unfairly affected by unequal pay, including within the pharmacy industry.

Based on government data, this year there is a mean gender pay gap of 10.7% for full-time workers in the UK. This means that it’s only shifted 0.2 percentage points since 2022.

Even though the Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed into law over 50 years ago, and since then compulsory gender pay gap reporting has been introduced for employers with over 250 employees, no significant progress has been accomplished.

Last year, the PDA surveyed 600 pharmacists across the sector and discovered that in almost every pharmacy role, women pharmacists on average were paid less than their male counterparts.

President of the PDA NAWP Network, Ayah Abbass said, “As we have previously seen there is still a large gender pay gap which is shocking. We need to keep talking and pushing for this gap to not exist. We talk about equality, and this is the fundamental base of a successful and thriving workplace. As a woman pharmacist I would be very disheartened if I found out my colleague who is doing the same job as me is earning more based on gender alone. We will keep raising awareness as NAWP on this topic.”

The survey also revealed that pharmacists from ethnic minority groups were paid less on average than white British groups.

Immediate Past President of the PDA BAME Network, Elsy Gomez Campos said, “The persistent pay gap between women and men remains a significant concern. Advocating for equal pay is not just a matter of fairness; it’s also a legal imperative. Ensuring equal compensation is a vital element in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace environment. Pay equity is crucial in building a more equitable and just society. By actively addressing and closing this gap, we not only adhere to legal standards but also uphold the principles of equality and respect for all individuals in the workforce.”

The PDA is calling on the government to tackle the gender pay gap by addressing the root causes of inequality, such as by encouraging transparency over pay, supporting parents with childcare, and increasing flexible working opportunities.

Currently, pharmacists in England, Scotland and Wales are protected against discrimination by the Equality Act 2010, and pharmacists in Northern Ireland are protected by Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

The PDA can support members who have or currently are experiencing discrimination. As discrimination matters have a strict deadline of three months, less one day from the last act of discrimination, the PDA encourages members to contact the PDA Member Support Centre immediately if they have faced any kind of discrimination.

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

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