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Mothers in part-time jobs receiving ‘long-term pay penalties’, says IFS

05 Feb 2018

Research carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has suggested that mothers working part-time jobs are receiving ‘long-term pay penalties’ as a direct result of the gender pay gap.

The report found that, when compared to fathers, mothers spend less time in paid work and more time working part-time. The IFS said that, as a result, mothers miss out on the earnings growth that typically comes with experience.

Individuals in regular, paid work often see their pay rise year on year as they gain experience: however, the IFS’s research showed that part-time workers, many of whom are mothers of young children, are missing out on these benefits.

The Institute stated that the effect of part-time work in reducing wage progression is ‘especially striking’.

By the time a first child reaches the age of 20, mothers earn, on average, 30% less per hour than fathers, the research also suggested.

Commenting on the issue, Monica Costa Dias, Associate Director at the IFS, said: ‘There are likely many reasons for persistent gaps in the wages of men and women, which research is still investigating, but the fact that working part-time has a long-term depressing effect is an important contributing factor.

‘It is remarkable that periods spent in part-time work lead to virtually no wage progression at all. It should be a priority for governments and others to understand the reasons for this. Addressing it would have the potential to narrow the gender wage gap significantly.’