Thursday 19 November 2020 / 10:30 PM Marsha de Cordova

Tory failure on gender pay gap means 8.5 million women set to retire before seeing equal pay

Another 8.5 million women will go their whole careers without ever seeing equal pay unless the government takes urgent action to close the gender pay gap, new research by Labour reveals.

Progress to close the gender pay gap has slowed significantly under the Conservatives and, at the current pace, it will not be closed until 2052, according to analysis from Labour to mark Equal Pay Day.

It means women in their mid-30s now will never know equal pay in their working lives.

Marsha de Cordova MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, has criticised the “indifference” of Conservative Ministers on closing the gender pay gap and warned that the Government must “act now to prevent this crisis from further cementing women’s economic inequality”.

Data gathered during the pandemic shows that women are more likely to work in shut down sectors, more likely to be furloughed across almost every age group and have taken on increased caring responsibilities while working from home.

Labour is calling for urgent action to equalise women’s pay by:

  • Modernising equal pay legislation so that women have the right to know what their male colleague doing the same work is paid;
  • Immediately confirming that gender pay reporting for companies will be mandatory again in April 2021;
  • Publishing a review of the economic impact of covid on women and tackling structural inequalities as a priority in the forthcoming spending review.

The gender pay gap now stands at 14.6%, although the suspension of mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting on 24 March has potentially caused inaccuracies with this year’s data. The government is yet to confirm when reporting will be reintroduced.

Marsha de Cordova MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, said:

“The Government has failed to tackle the gender pay gap and has ignored the impact this crisis has had on women. The Conservatives’ indifference risks the clock being turned back on women’s equality.

“We need urgent action to modernise equal pay legislation and restart pay gap reporting. The government must act now to prevent this crisis from further cementing women’s economic inequality.”