Britain's gender pay gap: Mothers who work full-time earn 21% less than menStudy reveals the true extent of the gender pay gap in BritainWorking mothers in full-time employment paid 21 per cent less than men
Women without children also paid 7 per cent less than men in full-time jobsBritish childcare also costs much more than in most other countries
02:13 GMT, 18 December 2012
Gender gap: Working mothers earn 21% less than men the report says, while the cost of childcare can almost wipe out the benefit of returning to work
Mothers who work full-time earn 21 per cent less than men, a report revealed yesterday.
But even women without children are victims of Britain’s gender pay gap.
On average, they earn 7 per cent less than men in full-time jobs, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.
‘Women pay a high price for motherhood,’ the leading international think-tank warned.
It also pointed to the crippling cost of childcare in Britain, which can almost wipe out the benefit of a mother returning to work.
The study looked at the gender gap in pay between men and women who are 25 to 44, the typical age at which parents are having and raising young children.
In the UK, the pay gap between men and women with a full-time job triples from 7 per cent before starting a family to 21 per cent once a woman has children.
The OECD report follows a recent study that found the average woman in a senior role will earn 425,000 less during her career than a man doing the same job.
Women are also less likely to get a bonus and more likely to be made redundant, the Chartered Management Institute said.
The OECD report said the cost of childcare is so high in Britain that it eats up nearly half the salary of a parent earning a lower wage.
This is much higher than in most other countries – in Sweden it is 7 per cent, in Norway 12 per cent and in Germany 23 per cent.
To add to the pressure on British families, more than two-thirds of the salary that is left after paying for childcare is ‘effectively taxed away’. This is ‘well above’ the 52 per cent average among the 34 countries in the OECD.
According to the Daycare Trust, it costs an average of 206 to put a child under two into a nursery for 50 hours a week in England, an increase of more than a third in the past seven years.
Warning: Daycare Trust chief executive Anand Shukla has said the childcare system is in need of major reform
Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust, said: ‘Some families are no better off when the mother returns to work after maternity leave.
Ministers say that work should always pay and they are changing the benefits system to make this happen.
‘But the childcare system also needs major reform as the cost is forcing parents to turn down jobs or end up in hardship.’