Tag Archives: equal pay

It’s Equal Pay Day – the financial double whammy facing women

Today is the year when, because of the gender pay gap, women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year. Data from the Fawcett Society shows that the gender pay gap this year is 11.3%, slightly down on last year.

This arises for several reasons. Despite legislation outlawing this being passed more than half a century ago. women are often paid less than men for work of equal value.

Women also suffer from unfair barriers to career advancement because they are more likely to have caring responsibilities. This could be addressed by requiring employers to allow more flexible ways of working.

The Fawcett Society has produced a briefing which outlines the extent of the gender pay gap and makes recommendations to reduce it. They call for:

Improve pay gap reporting by:
Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for employers
Requiring employers to publish action plans to tackle their pay gaps, so that
real action is taken toreduce pay inequality with accountability and
transparency built in

Lowering the threshold for pay gap reporting to 100 employees, bringing the UK closer to the standards set by other countries

Require employers to offer flexible work arrangements as default and advertise jobs with flexibility built-in

Reform the childcare system to increase affordability whilst ensuring our children get the best start in life

Ban questions about salary history during recruitment and require salary bands to be displayed on job advertisements

Introduce a free standing and legally enforceable ‘Right to Know’ what a male colleague is paid for equal work

Not only are women at the sharp end of the Gender Pay Gap, but they are also being disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis. Scottish feminist organisation Engender has produced a report on this, calling for targeted support for women on low incomes, particularly those with caring responsibilities who are likely to have higher energy needs. They explain why this contributes to greater inequality between men and women:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Jo Swinson MP writes… I’m proud to say we’ve finally got the Tories on board with gender pay gap measures.

In the final days of this Government Lib Dems are still delivering our agenda against the odds, and against Conservative obstruction.

Under the coalition government the gender pay gap had fallen to its lowest level, at just under 20% – but this is still 19.1% too high. Despite our high levels of women’s employment the UK has the 8th highest gender pay gap in the EU.

Not only is the gender pay gap socially wrong in modern society, but economically it’s nonsensical not to reward our most talented female employees properly. We should value the contribution of women and men in the workplace equally, so our goal has to be eliminating the pay gap completely.

As a Business Minister and Minister for Women, I have worked very hard to persuade my Coalition colleagues of the virtues of tough action to tackle this long-term inequality. Their traditional resistance makes it all the more remarkable that Nick Clegg has, in the last few weeks of our term, secured a government amendment that guarantees all large businesses will have to publish the difference between average pay for their male and female staff. So today (Tuesday) I will proudly vote for our party’s manifesto commitment – for large companies to publish the difference in average pay between male and female employees – to become law.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments
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