The Government must rethink the new junior doctors’ contracts, which discriminate against women
26th April, 2016
The Women’s Equality Party today condemned plans for new junior doctors’ contracts, pointing out that they discriminate against parents and carers.
“These contracts will penalise parents and care-givers, holding them back on lower pay when they return to work instead of helping them back into their careers at the same level,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party and its London Mayoral candidate. “Since most childcare and caregiving is done by women, these contracts are hugely discriminatory.”
The controversial new contracts, which will base pay on the level of responsibility achieved by junior doctors rather than time served, do not support accelerated progression for those returning to work after taking time away for maternity or caring responsibilities, disability or ill-health.
In its equality analysis of the changes, the Department of Health concedes that the new contract ‘disadvantages those who attain greater levels of responsibility at a slower pace’ because of taking time out of their careers.
“This has a double impact for women,” Walker said. “Their lifetime earnings will be significantly reduced because of the time they take out of work for parenting and care-giving. It will also mean female medics are less likely to take on lower-paid research work – meaning they will be held back from reaching the highest levels of academic and clinical medicine.”
She added that the decision underlined the need for the Women’s Equality Party and the work it was doing to end the gender pay gap.
“It is time that women's lives were given equal weight and taken seriously by our politicians,” she continued. “The talents of the many brilliant women working in the NHS right now are not to be squandered. If we want to make the NHS work for everyone, we have to pay all of its staff equally so that our healthcare system can flourish – along with its patients.”
Published April 01, 2016