22 FEBRUARY 2017

This week, the Government responded to gender pay gap recommendations put forward by the Women and Equalities Committee. Despite its inclusion of overwhelming evidence for the need for urgent action, the Government rejected most of the Committee’s seventeen recommendations.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“We share the Committee’s disappointment at the lack of further action from government. At current rates of progress it will take 62 years to close the pay gap. That is far too slow. We won’t speed up progress unless the Committee’s recommendations are implemented.

“Whilst we welcome the introduction of new gender pay gap reporting requirements on large employers, we have consistently said that this is not enough. Alongside this we have to make flexible working the norm and advertise all jobs as flexible working jobs unless there is a good business reason not to. We need to support fathers to care for children – this means a fundamental shift in the parental leave system, equalising leave entitlements. And we must tackle discrimination in our workplaces which results in 54,000 mothers each year being forced to leave their jobs.

“Finally, we need to support young women to move into non-traditional sectors, tackling the harmful and wasteful gender segregation in our labour market which starts early.”

To see the Select Committee release and Government responses, click here.

The Committee will be questioning the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening MP, on the Government’s response to its recommendations on Wednesday 26 April, and is calling for evidence on the responses made by the Government. The Committee have set up a gender pay gap Government Response web forum, which you can submit evidence to here.


Fawcett's campaigning led to new gender pay gap reporting legislation, which requires organisations with over 250 employees to publish data on their gender pay gaps, including bonuses, by April 2018.