Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shock! Horror! Women still paid less than men

According to the Office of National Statistics, published today, women are still paid less than men. The national average wage is £569 for men and £436 for women, which is a difference of £133, or £6,916 a year. In London, men take £790 and women £567. London has the biggest pay gap between men and women, followed by the South East (£150) and the East (£148). In poorer areas the disparity is narrower.

It is over 30 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and yet women are still being paid less. And the Government, dynamic as ever, has introduced an equal pay questionnaire and have funded the Equal Pay Commission (EOC) to develop 2 equal pay reviews for small and large companies. I think we won't be too surprised by the findings.

Ruth Kelly being secretary of state with responsibility for equalities, you know, the one who endeavours to "fight discrimination wherever it exists". Well Ruth, this is a very good one to start with by flexing some anti-discrimination muscle.

But cynical me, I won't hold my breath.

Women and Equality Unit