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Ball volleyed into Brown’s court on gender pay gap issue

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As Wimbledon 2007 gets underway – the first to offer male and female competitors the same prize money – a women’s campaign group has called on Gordon Brown to do more to close the gender pay gap in all areas of society.

The Fawcett Society says it wants UK firms to pay an equal wage to all their employees, regardless of gender, and that his elevation to Prime Minister should allow Brown to press the case for them more persuasively.

“The ball is in his court,” said a spokesperson. “Working women in full-time jobs still earn on average 17% less per hour than men, while those in part-time employment earn 38% less.”

She added that these differentials still persisted despite 30 years of equal pay legislation. “We want the Government to force firms to carry out pay audits and make sure their female employees are not being underpaid.”

Dr Katherine Rake, leader of the Fawcett Society, added: “It is time for Gordon Brown to give all women a sporting chance and finally end the pay gap.”

The organisation also pressed Brown to tackle the long hours working culture, which it claims limits the ability of women with caring responsibilities to compete on an equal basis.


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