make up 65% of public sector workers. The loss of nearly half a million public
sector jobs over the next few years with the Coalition Government’s cutbacks is
set to affect women disproportionately. With the disappearance of public sector
jobs with good terms and conditions, family friendly working and
pensions, equivalent jobs will be hard to find in the private sector
which has not adapted to the reality of women’s working lives and caring
responsibilities to the same extent as the public sector. Parenting has a
direct and dramatic influence on women’s employment prospects and pay which
typically lasts a lifetime. Women undertake 70% of caring for elderly relatives
and a quarter of women aged 45-60 become unpaid family carers.
The Women’s Budget Group published
their Response to the Government’s Spending Review on
November 2010. See what the cuts in public services and jobs
will mean for Women at http://wbg.org.uk/RRB_Reports.htm
On 26 October 2010, the Fawcett Society published this
Briefing for the Women’s Income Network -:
Impact of the cuts on women’s employment
- Government expects 490,000 public sector job cuts
will impact heavily on women as around 40% of women in work in the UK are
employed in public sector jobs, with women
accounting for 65% of public sector workers. In
some sectors of the public sector women make up even greater numbers - for
example women make up around 75% of the local government workforce, 77% of the NHS workforce, and
87% of primary school teachers.
cuts will have a particularly adverse impact on those in insecure
part-time and low-paid work. Women make up 64% of low paid workers and
more than three-quarters of all
workers in part-time jobs.
is already showing that women’s unemployment is rising disproportionately:
in the three months to July 2010, female unemployment rose by 50,000 to
hit 1.01 million, but male joblessness was down 58,000. In
September 2010, 79% of those who signed on to unemployment benefit were
Institute of Personnel and Development reported on 22.10.10 that they
believe up to 80% of those losing their jobs will be women.
- Nearly half of all black Caribbean women, and 37% of Pakistani and
Bangladeshi women, are employed in the public sector.
- Ethnic minority women will likely be hit very hard by the spending
cuts and the 490,000 public sector jobs to be slashed – especially since a
high proportion work in administrative roles. In addition, many black
women are the sole earners in their household, so this could have a huge impact
on their children and families
- PricewaterhouseCoopers warns that almost half a million
private sector jobs could be lost following the spending squeeze.
- Fawcett concerned that even if private
sector does provide employment, which looks questionable, this move to
permanently shrink the size of the public sector will jeopardise women’s
employment opportunities as the private sector has failed to adapt to
women’s maternity and care needs nearly as well as the public sector.
Illustrated by (full time) pay gaps figures: 11.6% in public sector, 20.8% in
Draft Local Government Workforce Strategy 2010,