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Gender pay gap in Britain

 

Gender pay gap in Britain "Low paid women are paid around 10% less than low paid men. High paid women are paid around 20% less than high paid men.”

Equal Pay Day on November 7th 2012 revealed the stark truth of the UK’s gender wage inequality.
Depressingly even though legislation to ensure equal pay has been in place for 40 years, the gender pay gap in Britain remains among the highest in the EU at 14.9%.  Even more worrying, the gap looks set to widen further, thanks to the predicted loss of public sector jobs and the push of more women into insecure, casual labour jobs.

The Prime Minister himself, sacked 60% of the female members of his cabinet in September, which did little to ease worries that the Prime Minister is surrounding himself with an increasingly all male elite. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made it clear at the Tory Party Conference that he is keen to erode worker’s rights yet further by encouraging employees to take out shares in the company in exchange for giving up their rights to claim unfair dismissal or redundancy. Maternity leave would also alter in return for the shares; women on maternity leave would be required to give 16 weeks’ notice of intention to return to work instead of the current 8 weeks.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett comments:

"The slow progress on equal pay has been a cause for concern for decades, but with the government's cutback in jobs, which are hitting women hard, and the continuing squeeze on real pay levels, we face the risk of going backwards.

"At the same time, increasing number of women are being forced into insecure, casual jobs, put onto zero-hours contracts, or pushed into uncertain, undesired "self-employment" for wanton other alternatives.

"A floor of a minimum wage which matches the living wage, as the Green Party is calling for, would be one important step towards dealing with this situation. A ban on zero-hours contracts would be another.

"Employment rights should not be branded as 'red tape' as the government has threatened to do - they should be regarded as essential protections, and larger employers should be forced to carry out a gender audit of pay so disparities are exposed."


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