Monday, 20 February 2017

The Fight for Equal Pay

STV News reports that the Scottish Parliament is to investigate the effect of unequal pay in Scotland's public services and what the Scottish Government can do to tackle the issue. 

Well the answer is simple if you ask me - if employers were required to be completely open and transparent about their pay arrangements, there would be no opportunity to obscure or hide the big pay differences that still exist between male and female jobs.

I would also urge the Scottish Government to beef up the role of Audit Scotland as an independent public spending watchdog with powers to intervene and penalise employers like North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and Glasgow City Council - who have all behaved outrageously in relation to equal pay over the years.

Huge sums of public money has been misspent and abused by all of these councils, in my opinion, yet Audit Scotland has had virtually nothing to say during the past 12 years while the fight for equal pay has been raging in Scottish councils. 

As Lord Nolan said about his report on how to achieve higher standards in public life - "Daylight is the best disinfectant!"

Impact of gender pay gap to be investigated by MSPs

By Aidan Kerr - STV News

Research suggests women will not earn the same as men until 2069 at the current rate of progress.

Pay gap: Women earn less on average than men in the UK (file pic).

MSPs will investigate how closing the gender pay gap could help boost the Scottish economy.

Holyrood's economy, fair work and jobs committee will hear evidence from a range of figures and groups on the issue.

Research suggests at the current rate of progress women will not earn the same as men until 2069, 99 years after the Equal Pay Act was introduced in the UK.

Figures released last October by the Office for National Statistics show the difference between men and women's median hourly earnings for full-time work was 6.2% in 2016, down from 7.7% in 2015.

UK Government figures show closing the gap could add almost £600bn to the economy.

Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst said: "The committee will examine whether addressing the gender pay gap could positively affect Scotland's business performance.

"We want to know: What is the effect of unequal pay on the Scottish public sector? And, crucially, what action is required from the Scottish Government to tackle the issue?

"The committee wants to consider the economic value of equal pay and understand the impact of the gender pay gap on the Scottish economy."

He added: "Vital to this inquiry will be the direct experiences of people 'on the ground' - the businesses and organisations that are working to close the gender pay gap and individuals who struggle to access equal pay.

"Their expertise and experiences will guide and lead our work, telling us what measures are being taken - and what still needs to happen - to create a level playing field."

Independent report into gender pay gap: