Creating a fairer Britain
02 November 2010
To coincide with Equal Pay Day, the day of the year when women in effect stop getting paid because of the gender pay gap of 16.4 per cent, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is today publishing Equal Pay - Where Next? (PDF), in partnership with the Fawcett Society, UNISON and the TUC.
The report contains the main discussions and recommendations from the Equal Pay – Where Next? conference held earlier this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. The conference took stock of the recent debate on equal pay and brought together business, unions, NGO’s and government.
The Equal Pay - Where Next? report explores four key aspects of tackling the gender pay gap: making the business case for equal pay; how the structure and organisation of the workplace plays a part in the equal pay debate; the adequacy or inadequacy of the legislative framework underpinning equal pay; and attitudes and culture surrounding equal pay.
It captures the debate and discussion generated by these themes and the resulting recommendations to tackle the decades-old challenge of the gender pay gap with renewed vigour and innovative solutions -- ranging from increasing transparency to addressing the cultural issues that make it difficult for women to balance work and family life or close off lucrative career paths to girls.
Jean Irvine, Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
"Four decades after the Equal Pay Act, the pay gap remains a stubborn 16.4 % and many are asking where do we go from here? There isn't one simple answer. We must seek innovative ways to increase transparency, look at what role the law can play and explore where culture change can make a difference. This report is an important contribution to the debate, for the first time bringing together key players -- ranging from business to unions -- to discuss and debate ways forward.
"Transparency is important. It is difficult, if not impossible, to resolve a problem that cannot be seen. But if we are to truly tackle the pay gap, transparency will have to be matched with similar efforts to transform the world of work that makes it all too difficult for women and indeed men to balance work and family, as well as tackle the factors that close off more lucrative career paths to far too many girls."
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.
Download a copy of the report Equal Pay – Where Next
The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.