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The gender pay gap is widening, Labour warns

THE gender pay gap is widening in both the private and public sectors, shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler warned today.

During her urgent question in the Commons, she pointed out that the median pay gap has grown and that pay reports filed by large companies show 78 per cent favour men.

Private firms with more than 250 employees had a deadline of midnight last night to report on pay for men and women.

Those that miss the deadline risk facing legal action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, leading to court orders and fines.

Ms Butler also flagged up unfair pay in the public sector, citing a pay gap of 22.9 per cent in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport last year which grew from 8.2 per cent in 2017.

In the Department for Exiting the European Union, the pay gap stood at 14.5 per cent last year compared to 8.9 per cent the year before.

The deadline for public-sector bodies to file their reports was March 31.

Ms Butler said that those that don’t include action plans for closing the gap should be fined.

She added: “I’m sure once we start looking at the race pay gap we’ll see that’s even more distressing.”

Victoria Atkins, minister for women, said she wants the data from larger employers to “settle” before the scheme is widened to include businesses with fewer than 250 employees, which she estimated could take “another year or so.”

She agreed that it is “disgraceful” that a number of public-sector bodies did not meet the sector’s deadline last week.

 

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