Gender pay gap should be fixed by government, poll shows

Most people believe it’s the responsibility of government to close the gender pay gap, research shows.

A poll of more than 1,000 people, commissioned by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), found that 88% of respondents believe it to be government’s job, while 94% believe that men and women should be paid the same amount for doing the same job.

The gender pay gap currently stands at 19% in the civil service and 17% in the rest of the economy.

The poll also found concern about equal pay, with 67% believing that women aren’t always paid the same amount for doing the same job as men.

The union calls on the government to do more to tackle pay inequality in the civil service by addressing low pay and ensuring departments take necessary action.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “This poll, coming on International Women’s Day, shows that the public know equal pay is still a problem and that it’s the government’s job to do something about it.

“It is scandalous that the gender pay gap stands at 19% in the civil service.

“The government needs to address the gender pay gap, especially in its own workforce, where pay inequality is rife,” he said.

A civil service spokesperson said: “The 19% median pay gap in the Civil Service is not relevant in the context of equal pay legislation in that it does not compare like-for-like work – there are more women than men at the lower responsibility levels within the Civil Service, hence median pay levels for women across the board will be lower than men. When the gender pay gap within the civil service is compared by responsibility level it varies from 2% to 6%.

“Equality and fairness of pay continues to be a key priority for the Civil Service. For instance, the Guidance on Equal Pay for Government Departments and Agencies and the Civil Service Reward Principles set out guidelines on how to deter any form of discrimination when setting pay.”

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