A bit gappy
The Office of National Statistics published their findings on the drop in the UK’s gender pay gap back on 22 November: 9.6% in April, down from 10.5% the previous year. Since then, there’s been a lot in the media about pay in general. For instance, and unsurprisingly, the highest median weekly wages are in London (£653), the lowest in the district of Torridge (£348).
That’s all very well for permanently employed folk, but what about us freelancers? Where do we fit in with all this?
Parasol, an umbrella company for freelance contractors, recently released some interesting findings based on analysis of their employees around the country. Key findings include:
• In the year ending October 2012, the gender pay gap between freelancers had dropped from £2.88 per hour to £1.14
• Freelance women now earn, on average £29.86 per hour; men £31.
• In parts of the country – the North East, South West and Scotland – some women are now earning almost £4 more per hour than men.
The company’s data further revealed that, if you’re a woman, to make the most money as a freelancer you’d want to live in the South West (average hourly rate, £35. 22); while men should head to the South East (£35.14). The area where you’d get paid the least if you’re a woman (£12.18) or a man (£13.03) is Northern Ireland.
A Parasol spokesman said, ““We believe that the closing of the gender pay gap, and the emergence of a ‘reverse pay gap’ in some regions, reflects the fact that companies now simply want people for the skills and knowledge they have. They don’t care about gender, age, race or other characteristics – it’s simply about who is best for the job.
“We believe this is particularly true amongst professional contractors such as Parasol employees. Contractors are, by definition, with a client for a specific period of time – generally in order to work on a specific project. Therefore companies simply want someone who can come in and do the job with the minimum of fuss. Considerations such as achieving a gender balance within a team which may – even subconsciously – affect the hirer’s decision when they are recruiting someone for a permanent position, do not come into play when it comes to professional contractors.”
By Liz Granirer