London Mayor Ken Livingstone calls for new legislation to close the gender pay gap

London mayor Ken Livingstone has called for new laws to reduce the pay gap between men and women.

Research published today by the Greater London Authority shows that the gender salary divide is larger in London than elsewhere in the UK.

The average female salary in London is 23% below the average male salary – compared with 17% for the rest of the UK. This is mainly because the very highest salaries on offer in the UK are mostly in London, and mostly go to men.

Livingstone said: “This research shows a clear case for the law to provide for mandatory pay audits – as a key tool to create workplace transparency and show where action is needed – and the extension of flexible working rights to all with caring responsibilities and with children under 17.

“Research also shows that UK law on action in favour of women falls well short of what is permitted under EU directives. Bringing UK law up to the EU standard would give employers another tool to help smash the glass ceiling.”

Jenny Watson, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, added: “From the Square Mile to Westminster, London continues to waste women’s talents.” 

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