Closing Gender Pay Gap More Important Than Ever During Coronavirus Crisis

On International Equal Pay Day, the SNP’s Women and Equalities spokesperson has said it is more important than ever to work to close the gender pay gap as the coronavirus crisis widens it – and calls on the UK government to re-establish the suspension of gender pay gap reporting.

Anne McLaughlin MP (pictured) has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) expressing concern that the progress made in narrowing the gender pay gap will be lost in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic and calls for tougher and immediate action to close the gap.

Whilst the SNP Scottish Government has taken considerable action to combat the gender pay gap – publishing a Gender Pay Gap Action plan, demanding that all public authorities with more than 20 employees publish their pay gap every two years, doubling funding to support businesses led by women, and establishing a women returners scheme – the Tories have imposed a decade of austerity cuts that have had a disproportionate impact upon women.

Commenting, Anne McLaughlin MP said:

“It is shameful that 50 years on from the Equal Pay Act we still do not have equal pay in Scotland and across the UK – gender equality cannot be achieved as long as women are being paid less than men for the same work.

“The coronavirus crisis – on top of a decade of regressive Tory policies – is undoing a lot of the progress made in narrowing the gender pay gap.

“Bringing back gender pay gap reporting immediately would be a good first step in putting a stop to this.

“And it’s not just about equal pay or ensuring equivalence regardless of gender for the same type of work – Boris Johnson needs to do more to address the imbalance created due to women predominantly taking on unpaid and pensionless care roles, as well as create opportunities for women to develop and flourish in the top jobs.

“He could start by taking a look at the gender balance of his own Cabinet.

“The SNP has been at the forefront when it comes to standing up for women in the workplace — recognising that better opportunities to participate fully in our economy means improved performance overall.

“While Scotland leads the UK in tackling gender inequality, the SNP will keep working to end the imbalance once and for all.

“Having full control of employment powers at Holyrood, or better yet, the full powers of independence, would help to make a real difference.”