An official action plan on tackling the gender pay gap has been delayed until next year, it emerged today.
Lady Margaret Prosser, who chairs the government’s Women and Work Commission, announced at the TUC Congress in Brighton that ministers would have to wait until the New Year for the inquiry's recommendations.
Twelve months was "not long enough" to sort out the best ways to address pay disparity faced by the country's women workers, she said.
The commission's report was expected this autumn, but Lady Prosser told Congress: "The magnitude of the task did not escape me. Thirty-five years after pay legislation, the [gender pay gap] is still wide enough to drive through the proverbial coach and horses, and we were given twelve months to sort it out.
"Twelve months has not been long enough and I have proposed a recall date of January 2006."
Thirty years after equal pay legislation was first introduced, women workers earn 18% less than their male counterparts. This gap widens to 40% among part-time workers.