LOW pay for female part-time workers is rife across Sussex, new figures have revealed.

Brighton and Hove has the second lowest percentage of low-paid part-time women workers in the South East at 20.5%.

But the majority of women working part-time in Rother and Adur earn less than the living wage, currently £7.65 an hour.

Rother has the highest levels of chronically low paid part-time female workers in the South East, with 53.8% earning below the living wage.

In Adur 50.5% of part-time female workers get less than the living wage.

In Lewes 48% were not paid the living wage, while in Eastbourne it was 47.9%, Horsham 44.5%, and in Wealden 44.2%.

Women account for almost three-quarters of Britain’s six-million strong part-time workforce.

But they earn just 66p for every pound earned by men working full-time – a pay gap of 34.2%.

One of the main reasons for this huge gender pay divide is the large concentration of women doing low-paid, part-time work, according to the TUC.

A lack of skilled, decently-paid, part-time jobs affects women’s pay and their career prospects far more than for men, the TUC argues.

The findings have led to calls for more employers to pay the Living Wage to tackle the “growing scourge” of in-work poverty and make inroads into the “scandalous” 34% part-time gender pay gap.

Brighton and Hove City Council is an accredited living wage employer – but few authorities in wider Sussex have followed suit.

Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary TUC for the South East, said: “This research blows a massive hole in the myth that all workers in the South East are well-off.

“In-work poverty is growing across the South East of England and it’s often women that are bearing the brunt of low pay.

“The Living Wage was created so that work can provide workers with a decent standard of living. But in places like East and West Sussex, low paid work for women is a route into poverty rather than a route out of poverty.

“Women would gain most from a greater take-up and implementation of the Living Wage by employers.

“Councils can lead the way by becoming Living Wage employers themselves. But they also need to work with local employers and unions to use the Living Wage to tackle in-work poverty throughout their area.”