Trade unions call for “serious penalties” for employers in a bid to end pay inequality

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Trade unions have called for an introduction of “serious penalties” for employers, in a bid to end pay inequality.

Union members, attending the TUC conference in Brighton, were unanimously in favour of introducing sanctions for those companies who don’t or won’t address the gender pay gap.

Statistics currently show that women in full time work earn 13.9 per cent less than their male counterparts.

Earlier this year, the government brought in legislation making it compulsory for companies to publish their gender pay gap data. However, the trade unions are now calling for more to be done.

Vicky Knight, speaking on behalf of the TUC women’s committee, told the conference: “Although the gender pay gap reporting is welcomed, we are not convinced that a naughty list of rogue employers will have the desired or in fact necessary progress on this issue.”

“It can highlight the scale of the problem and we already know the full-time pay gap is 13.9 per cent with the part-time gap worryingly higher, and impacting most on those least able to manage financially.”

“So legislation, reporting and enforcement are all required, and without this triumvirate, as experience has shown, anything less is ineffective tokenism.”

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn also raised the issue of low pay during the TUC conference. McDonald’s workers recently went on strike over low pay and zero hours contracts. Corbyn condemned the McDonald’s pay gap, calling it an “epidemic of low pay.”

He said, “This epidemic of low pay, which is closely tied up with insecurity at work ruins people’s lives, leaving workers and their families locked in poverty.”

“It damages the economy as people have less to spend.”

“It costs us all because it means more paid in tax credits and housing benefits from the public purse.”

“And it means less tax being paid to fund public services.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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