Proposals to close gender pay gap not enough, claims EOC

The EOC believes the Government will need to go beyond the
recommendations in the Kingsmill Review of Women’s Employment and Pay if the
gender pay gap is to be addressed.

Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said that Denise Kingsmill’s
consultation document, which is due to be considered by the Government, does
not place enough emphasis on the fact that women are more likely to work in
sectors characterised by low pay.

“Although the Kingsmill review has recognised that the
causes of the pay gap are complex, its consultation document doers not tackle
them all. An effective Government strategy for closing the pay gap will need to
include action on a number of other fronts,” said Mellor

“The review rightly emphasises the need to ensure women do
not face barriers to promotion but the Government will also need to address the
fact that women and men are still concentrated in different kinds of work and
that those dominated by women tend to be low paid.”

Mellor thinks that the national shortage of available
childcare is also a major obstacle to equality and needs to be tackled.

The EOC opposes Kingsmill’s proposal to establish a new
organisation to tackle unequal pay.

Mellor would rather see a renewed emphasis on the role which
existing organisations, such as the CIPD, the CBI, ACAS and the unions, can
play in closing the pay gap.

She said, “It is important we build on the work many of
these bodies are already doing rather than reinventing the wheel.”

The EOC welcomes Kingsmill’s recommendation that private
companies bidding to provide public sector services should be required to prove
they pay fairly.

By Ben Willmott

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