You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

MPs attack government for ‘ignoring gender pay gap recommendations’

0
Written by: Paloma Kubiak
21/02/2017
A group of MPs has criticised the government for failing to take on board a list of recommendations to help eliminate the gender pay gap.

The Women and Equalities Committee said the government is not effectively tackling the structural causes of the gender pay gap after “ignoring the evidence put before it”.

In March 2016, the cross-party committee of MPs published a report with 17 recommendations to combat the gender pay gap.

The MPs said it was “deeply disappointing” the government had not taken on its recommendations.

The recommendations included a review into the part-time pay penalty and into flexible working which “lies at the heart of addressing the gender pay gap”. The MPs said the government is not taking the steps needed to ensure flexible working is offered to all employees, particularly those in lower paid sectors.

It also recommended supporting parents to share childcare equally because “as long as women continue to take the majority of responsibility for childcare and other forms of unpaid caring, pay differentials will persist”.

In its response, the government said it recognises the benefits of men and women sharing care equally, but the MPs said the flagship Shared Parental Leave policy is “predicted to make little difference to behaviour”.

The equalities MPs also wanted to see more support for women returning to the workforce after time out. It also wanted the government to address low pay in highly feminised sectors such as catering, cleaning and caring.

“Other than the minimum wage, there has been no co-ordinated attempt to address the issue faced by women in low paid sectors”, the committee said.

‘Deeply disappointing our recommendations not taken on board’

Committee chair, Maria Miller, said: “The government says there is no place for a gender pay gap in modern Britain and has restated its pledge to end the pay gap within a generation. But without effectively tackling the key issues of flexible working, sharing unpaid caring responsibilities, and supporting women aged over 40 back into the workforce, the gender pay gap will not be eliminated.

“We made practical, evidence-based recommendations to address these issues. They were widely supported by a range of stakeholders including businesses, academics, and unions. It is deeply disappointing that our recommendations have not been taken on board by government.

“My Committee will continue to pursue urgent action to reduce the gender pay gap – starting by questioning the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities on this inadequate response to our recommendations.”

‘We know there’s more to do’

A government spokesperson, said: “We are committed to tackling the gender pay gap and our policies, which aim to balance the needs of employees and businesses while addressing this gap, are working.

“We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record, around 60,000 more people a year are taking advantage of the right to request flexible working and the introduction of Shared Parental Leave gives parents extra flexibility and we will continue to evaluate this as it beds in. Women over 40 can also get support in the workplace through the National Careers Service.

“But we know there’s more to do. That’s why we are requiring employers to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time from April and we are giving working parents of three and four year olds up to 30 hours of free childcare from September.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week