- Fawcett Society
- Rt Hon Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
- United Kingdom
In the UK, women are paid on average 17% less than men for full-time work. This means that they effectively receive their final pay cheque on October 30th, and continue to work for free for the rest of the year.
This is partly due to straightforward discrimination, with some research suggesting that this accounts for up to 40% of the pay gap. Work traditionally done by women is also likely to be rewarded with less pay: nurses, for example, earn less than police officers. Finally, the fact that the UK has the longest working hours in Europe means that women, who continue to take on the majority of parenting and caring responsibilities, are unable to compete in the workplace.
Nearly 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, it's time to end this injustice for good. Please join Fawcett in asking the Secretary of State to ensure that the forthcoming Equality Bill fulfils its potential to undo the causes of pay discrimination, and to provide better legal remedies where it occurs.
Rt Hon Peter Mandelson
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
1 Victoria Street
Dear Secretary of State
Nearly 40 years after the Equal Pay Act the gap between women and men’s pay remains shockingly large. It is unacceptable that average pay for women working full time is still 17 per cent less than men’s. In effect, women receive their last pay check on October 30th, and work for free for the rest of the year. We are marking ‘No Pay Day’ to expose this gap and call for tough action.
The forthcoming Equality Bill provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end this injustice. Action is long overdue. It is now time to end the discrimination against women workers and so increase their current earnings and future pensions. This in turn would contribute towards meeting the Government’s targets on child poverty.
There are also compelling economic arguments for change. The Government's own figures show that unlocking women’s economic potential could contribute a staggering 1.3% to 2% of GDP.
Bold reforms are needed in the Equality Bill to undo the causes of pay discrimination and provide better legal remedy where it occurs.
- To prevent pay inequality taking place, compulsory "health checks" are needed. Organisations should be legally required to undertake equal pay audits which compare the earnings of their employees and to take action to redress inequalities.
- For those women already facing pay discrimination, changes to the law are urgently needed which provide better assistance for those considering cases, and ensure swift resolution of those cases coming to court.
As Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform we look to you to continue Labour’s honourable tradition of promoting equal pay. It is vital that you seize this opportunity to finally make equal pay a reality.
Dr Katherine Rake OBE
You can further help this campaign by sponsoring it
The Equal Pay petition to Rt Hon Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was written by Fawcett Society and is in the category Employment at GoPetition.