Women demand new Equal Pay Act to enforce transparency

Minouche Shafik
LSE director Dame Minouche Shafik, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
Photo: PA Images

One hundred prominent women in public life are calling for new laws to enforce transparency about male colleagues’ pay .

The campaign for fresh legislation in the form of a new Equal Pay Act or amendment, will begin in earnest this Thursday with the launch of a report on the gender pay gap by the Fawcett Society.

As reported last month in Personnel Today, the campaign, called #MeTooPay, has won the backing of the likes of Dame Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail until last year; Dame Minouche Shafik, former deputy governor of the Bank of England and head of the London School of Economics; Emma Walmsley, head of Glaxo Smith Kline; BBC sports presenter Clare Balding, former BBC China news editor Carrie Gracie; and Dame Carolyn McCall, head of ITV.

A website has been set up with the full list of signatories, asking for women to get in touch. The aim is for the site to be “practical and go-too” according to Dame Moya.

The proposed legislation would give female employees the right to find out from bosses what male colleagues earn. Workplaces that fail on pay equality would face fines reaching millions of pounds.

In a joint statement, the signatories said: “We’re frustrated to still read stories about women not getting the pay they deserve. Women should not be paid less than men to do exactly the same job. It is just wrong. So we’re starting a campaign to do something about it. We want to see radical and rapid action.”

The full campaign will be launched by the Fawcett Society on 14 November, recognised as the date that women in effect start “working for nothing”.

Dame Moya, in an interview with The Sunday Times, said: “Women are ostracised in their workplaces for having the temerity to ask the question [about equal pay]. They had excellent performance ratings, then suddenly their ratings go down.

“Women should not have to go to employment tribunals to find out the facts about what their male colleagues are earning so their claim can be fairly assessed.”

One Response to Women demand new Equal Pay Act to enforce transparency

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    Hilary Baxter 12 Nov 2019 at 6:27 pm #

    Marvellous! And about time too. I’m 61 and have been waiting for this all my life.

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