Full text of Emily's letter to the Times on Equal Pay

To the Editor

It’s a bit rich for David Cameron to be trumpeting measures requiring companies to publish data on their employees’ salaries (“Women’s raw deal on pay has to end now”, 14 July 2015). After all, his party had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting this measure when Labour successfully pushed for its inclusion in that Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill earlier this year...

It’s a bit rich for David Cameron to be trumpeting measures requiring companies to publish data on their employees’ salaries (“Women’s raw deal on pay has to end now”, 14 July 2015). After all, his party had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting this measure when Labour successfully pushed for its inclusion in that Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill earlier this year.

The Prime Minister says that “under the coalition government, the gender pay gap narrowed.” While that’s technically true, the pace of this change has been alarmingly slow. After narrowing by a third during Labour’s 13 years in office, the pay gap has shrunk since 2010 by an average of just 0.35% each year. At this rate, women won’t reach parity with men until 2069!

Whilst these modest changes are welcome, they’re not really enough, because the Equal Pay Act is 45 years old and is clearly no longer fit for purpose in terms of tackling modern working practices. We need a new Equal Pay Act that recognises that it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that there’s no pay discrimination, and that ensures that women’s contributions in the workplace are properly recognised and rewarded.

A government that truly wanted to look after the interests of working women would not be cutting tax credits, introducing “King Herod” clauses into Bills to discriminate against families with more than two children, and delaying the expansion of free childcare.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emily Thornberry MP

Labour, Islington South and Finsbury


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  • published this page in News 2015-07-22 13:17:55 +0100


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