10 November is Equal Pay Day - the day after which women in the UK effectively work for free, because of the gender pay gap. Let's make this year's the last...
The Women’s Equality Party is ‘celebrating’ Equal Pay Day again with a current estimate that it will take us until 2069 at the current rate of progress to close the pay gap. No thanks! WE say it’s time for a new approach instead.
WE want equal pay NOW – time for a #TripleWhammy
“The UK’s 19 per cent pay gap is so entrenched because it’s matched by a productivity gap of 20 percent compared to other G7 countries, and the most expensive childcare in the Western world,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party.
“For women to have equal pay in Britain we need to widen the conversation. This isn’t just about discrimination via your sexist boss; this is about discrimination via an education system that still encourages boys into highly-paid STEM careers and girls into clerical or caring roles with lower economic output, and via a society that pushes women out of the workplace when they become carers.”
“That can’t be fixed by limited legislation on equal pay. What we need is a triple whammy: a new, three-part approach to tackle a three-part problem and knock inequality out of the park.”
To make this Equal Pay Day the last one we have to mark, our #TripleWhammy approach includes:
Deal with workplace discrimination by insisting companies publish pay data that’s broken down by gender, ethnicity and disability as well as by pay, employment status and working hours and includes retention rates during and after parental leave.
Remodel our education system so that girls get an equal education too. All schools conduct a gender audit of their curriculum to ensure they are promoting role models that challenge gender stereotypes and offering quality, independent careers guidance that encourages girls to do science and boys to think creatively.
Invest in childcare. By moving to a single rate of pension tax relief at 25 percent WE can fund a £6.5 billion investment in childcare that would take average weekly costs down from £115 to £10. Also introducing shared parental leave that enables men to take time off work by breaking down cultural barriers and financial ones. So fathers get non-transferable 6 weeks of parental leave at 90 percent of pay.
“WE believe our plan will appeal to voters who want equal pay in this lifetime - not the next,” said Walker.
WE are showing the power of our collaborative approach, joining with leaders from all the UK’s major political parties to call for change on equal pay.