Pay gap announcement lacks ambition

Pay gap announcement lacks ambition

12 February 2016

The Government’s pay gap announcement is a welcome move but needs more ambition.

The Women’s Equality Party (WE) called for the Government  to show real ambition in its plans for tackling the gender pay gap, following Nicky Morgan’s announcement today on introducing ‘league tables’ of average pay and bonus gap

“It’s great to see that the presence of the Women’s Equality Party on the political scene is forcing the government to think seriously about addressing gender inequality,”  said party leader Sophie Walker. “But we’re still seeing too little ambition in the government’s approach.”

“The plan to start introducing gender pay league tables in 2018 means we will have to wait another two years until we can see only a little bit of what’s going on inside Britain’s companies,” she continued. “WE have a clear plan that requires immediate action from companies to show full transparency on pay, status and hours worked – plus retention before and after parental leave – and to break that data down not only by gender but also ethnicity and disability.”

Walker welcomed the Minister’s proposal to set aside £500,000 to help employers meet the cost of publishing pay data, but added: “This is a tiny sum compared to the extra £180 billion that could be added to our economy by 2030 if we unleash women’s potential.”

“Similarly, the government’s aim to have 15,000 more girls studying maths and sciences by 2020 lacks ambition,” she added. “Girls already outnumber and outperform boys in STEM subjects at GCSE level, so making sure they can access more of the five million STEM jobs across the UK shouldn’t be too difficult.”

“When I met with the Minister last year, I explained how vital the need was to break down gendered expectations around STEM careers,” Walker said. “It is good to see that she has taken this on, but she must be much more robust in setting out measures to make sure this happens.”

“It is time to be much bolder. WE are the only party with a comprehensive set of plans to tackle ALL the causes of women’s unequal pay by proposing employer transparency, equal parenting leave, flexible working, stronger anti-discrimination processes and help for carers who wish to work.”

“The government’s announcement today adds little to the pledges it made before last year’s general election. It is shocking that we are still talking about the gender pay gap, 45 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed.”