Nadia Whittome backs equal pay bill

Nadia Whittome is supporting the Equal Pay Implementation and Claims Bill, introduced by Stella Creasy. The Labour MP for Nottingham East is one of a cross-party group of MPs sponsoring the bill, including the Conservative’s Caroline Nokes, Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, among others.

The bill seeks to tackle the gender pay gap by giving employees the right to know how much their colleagues of the opposite sex are getting paid. Currently, women have to take their employer to court to find out this information if it isn’t provided. The Fawcett Society found that six in ten working women don’t know that they are being paid less than a male counterpart. Creasy’s bill would also require employers to produce action plans for closing the gender pay gap, and introduce ethnicity pay gap reporting. 

Financial Times has reported that the average gender pay gap has increased from 11.9% to 12.8% in the year to April 2020. 

Nadia Whittome said:

It’s been 50 years since Barbara Castle introduced the Equal Pay Act but we still have a long way to go. In too many workplaces, women can’t challenge inequality because they simply don’t know how much their male colleagues are paid. To make sure that equal pay for equal work finally becomes reality, we must end this culture of secrecy. 

I am glad that the bill also includes measures to address the ethnicity pay gap, which the Bank of England estimates at 10%. Requiring companies to report it would help us better understand and tackle this often overlooked problem.

Passing this bill would be a positive step towards removing barriers to pay equality.