UK Government must do more to close the gender-pay gap

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has called on the UK government to take action to tackle the gender pay gap and described its response to recommendations from MPs as “completely unacceptable”.

The House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Select Committee published its report with 17 recommendations on tackling the gender pay gap last year and today revealed the UK government’s response which was described as “inadequate”.

The Committee has highlighted three areas where it wants the UK government to justify rejecting its proposals which include making flexible working available in all jobs, a more effective policy on shared parental leave and a national scheme to help women over the age of 40 back into the workplace.

Angela Crawley MP, the SNP’s Children, Women and Equalities spokesperson, said:

“There has been improvement in closing the gender pay gap in recent years but we simply cannot allow progress on this issue to continue at such a glacial pace – the evidence is clear: when more women work, our economy grows faster.

“New research from PwC found that on current trends it would take another 24 years for the difference between men and women’s pay to be eliminated.  This is simply not good enough and the UK government’s response to the Women and Equalities Committee report is completely unacceptable.

“As well as plans to introduce requirements for public sector employers with more than 20 employees to publish information on the gender pay gap in their organisation and ensure 50/50 representation on public boards by 2020, the SNP Scottish Government  is increasing the amount of free childcare to help more parents back to work.

“It is time the Tories woke up to the reality that gender discrimination is not only hugely detrimental to individuals and our society but actually harming our continued economic growth – they must look again at our recommendations and act now to close the gender pay gap.”