NEW figures show women in Barnsley are being paid 72p for every pound a man earns.

The revelation comes as Equal Pay Day - the day that women across the UK effectively start working for free due to the gender pay gap - comes three days earlier this year because the pay gap is back on the rise.

That means women will work for free for the next 57 days.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, has backed plans to ask big companies with over 250 staff in Barnsley to publish their average hourly pay gap each year.

He said: "These shocking figures show the full extent of the gap in pay between men and women in Barnsley.

"All across the country women are working an extra three days for free this year because the pay gap is back on the rise, with figures showing that things are even worse in Barnsley.

"We will require companies to publish the hourly wage pay gap of their employees so that together we can take the steps to deliver equal pay for women and men across the country."