Women who become mothers before the age of 33 earn on average 15 per cent less than those without children, new research has found.
Younger mothers are also more likely to experience poor treatment in the workplace, affecting their earnings, according to analysis published by the TUC today, International Women's Day.
In contrast, older mothers who work full-time get a wage bonus of 12 per cent compared with full-time women without children.
TUC said: “Many older mums are higher earners and more senior in their workplaces, so benefit from better entitlements and are more able to afford full-time childcare so they can work full-time.”
The report found that more than half of mothers who were in work at 42 worked part-time, compared with three per cent of fathers and 13 per cent of women without children.
And working part-time, TUC said, means a “pay penalty”. Women working part-time earn 32 per cent less per hour on average.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This research shows that millions of mothers still suffer the motherhood pay penalty...
“Women in full-time, well-paid jobs shouldn’t be the only ones able to both become parents and see their careers progress."
The research was carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research, which compared wages of 17,000 women and men born in 1970.
They compared the weekly earnings of those in full-time work at the age of 42 who had become parents and those who had not had children. Wages of mothers and childless women with similar levels of education and in similar jobs were compared.