Amicus to launch equal pay campaign

The
Amicus union is launching a New Year campaign to convince men that pay
inequality is a family issue that leads to spiralling debt.

Amicus
will be asking men in workplaces in a campaign throughout January whether or
not they can afford their Christmas credit card bills when part of their family
income is 18 per cent less than the going rate. Eighteen per cent is the
percentage difference between men and women’s pay calculated by the Equal
Opportunities Commission (EOC).

The
average income for a female worker is £635.20 less per month than a man. This
means that the average family is missing out on £7,622.40 every year.

The
campaign aims to get the Government to change the law to make employers carry
out equal pay tests to make sure men and women get the same wage for the same
job. Only 0.5 per cent of all British companies contacted by the union said
they would investigate equal pay.

Rachel
Maskill, Amicus equal opportunities secretary, said: “It is no longer enough
for people to think about equal pay as a ‘women’s’ campaign. It is a family
campaign. UK families are under too much pressure, with loan repayments and
credit card bills, to simply be asked to shoulder the fact that one part of the
family income is 18 per cent less than the legal rate.

“When
the credit card bills come in families realise how unfair it is that women are
paid less than men. The Equal Pay Act became law 30 years ago and women workers
are still waiting.

“Many
employers pay less than they should and they don’t even know it. They should
have nothing to fear from an Equal Pay Audit. Survey after survey shows that a
happy workforce is a more productive and inefficient workforce,” Maskill added.

By Quentin Reade

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