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Labour Candidates demand action from Business Secretary on Equal Pay

Louise Baldock, Anna Turley, Lee Sherriff

Three Labour Parliamentary Candidates from across the region today wrote to Business Secretary Vince Cable demanding to know why the Government continues to block action on equal pay.
On the 16th December MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures for pay transparency that would see big companies (with over 250 staff) publish their gender pay gap. However the Government has so-far refused to implement it.

The measure is supported by leading employers including PwC who are one of just 5 companies known to voluntarily publish the information.
Tories and Lib Dems will next have an opportunity to support pay transparency on February 27th when the Government have another chance to support the proposal.
Lee Sherriff, Labour’s candidate in Carlisle, said:
“Across Carlisle women and their families will be wondering why this Government won't take action on equal pay. As a working mum I know how hard it is to support a family by yourself – working women deserve the same wage as men".
Louise Baldock, Labour’s Candidate in Stockton South said:
“Women across Britain are still earning on average 81p for every pound a man earns, leaving themselves and their families poorer. Pay transparency will encourage action on the pay gap which will make a big difference to women on Teesside.”
Anna Turley, Labour’s Candidate in Redcar said:
“Today we have written to the Business Secretary Vince Cable calling on him to support Equal Pay and get on with implementing pay transparency. If his Liberal Democrat and Tory Government refuses to implement it a Labour Government will.”
•         Despite the Government refusing to back the measure, Labour won the vote meaning the Bill will move further towards becoming law when it is next heard in Parliament on February 27th. However one dissenting MP will mean the entire Bill is killed.
•         The campaign for pay transparency is being led by Labour in Parliament, and supported by leading employers including PricewaterhouseCoopers who are one of just 5 companies known to voluntarily publish their pay gap.
•         Pay transparency for large employers was originally included by Labour in the Equality Act (2010) (section 78) but ditched by the Conservatives and Lib Dems on entering Government. The measure is widely viewed as a way to stimulate action on the causes of the gender pay gap.
•         Women in the UK still earn on average just 81p for every pound a man earns. The UK Gender Pay Gap in the UK is still higher than in most other EU countries.

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