Low pay, and the way out of low pay, is a complex issue; tackling it effectively requires a consistent set of detailed policies and actions.
Related to the issue of low pay is the gender pay gap. In many societies, achieving pay equality for men and women is an important goal. But reducing the gender pay gap requires concerted effort in many areas of society, including employers supported by appropriate government policy.
Researchers at York looked at what governments can do to tackle low pay with a particular emphasis on the gender dimension of low pay.
They also investigated how employers - including businesses as well as public sector entities - can adjust their practices to offer a way out of poverty for low-income employees.
Their research showed that gender pay gaps are higher in female-dominated workplaces and occupations in low paying sectors of the economy, and that this is especially true for part-time employees. This association between the workplace, occupational segregation, and the gender pay gap was a new contribution to the understanding of wage inequality in the UK.
The research concluded that reducing the overall wage disparity between men and women, for part-time as well as full-time employees, requires complementary policies addressing occupational segregation both within and across workplaces.
This research was used by the Low Pay Commission to inform their autumn 2016 recommendations on the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates.