Viewpoint: Call to carry out audit on the council gender pay gap

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 March 2018


The theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018 was #PressforProgress, a campaign that is intended to last throughout the year to strive for gender equality, which includes addressing the gender pay gap.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, Tower Hamlets is one of the top ten areas with the highest gender pay gaps. More women have left Tower Hamlets Council than ever before, in particular from black and minority backgrounds.

With this in mind, the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets recently submitted a gender pay gap motion for full council debate, requesting that – as a large public-sector employer – Tower Hamlets Council should carry out an immediate gender pay gap audit. Following that, it was suggested that they should commence an Equality Analysis, so that greater emphasis on pay equality is embedded within Tower Hamlets Council, particularly within the Pay Policy.

Under the Equality Act 2010, employees are legally entitled to equal pay with a person of the opposite sex where they are in the same employment and doing equal or similar work, yet despite gains in school and higher education, young women are facing stark inequalities and the gender pay gap is not falling for women with A-levels or degrees.

Our group worked with the Women’s Equality Party on the gender pay gap motion and, in accordance with their views, we would welcome, “Gender pay gap reporting to be broken down by age, employment status, ethnicity, race, disability, industry and working hours, as well as gathering data on retention during – and up to a year after – parental leave.”

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