22 MARCH 2016

Today, the Women and Equalities Select Committee release the report from their Gender Pay Gap Inquiry.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society responded:

“The Committee is rightly focussing on the unequal impact of caring roles as a major cause of the gender pay gap.  We particularly welcome the recommendation that all jobs should be flexible by default but we think that this should be backed up with additional regulation as a requirement on employers.

“A dedicated period of well paid leave for fathers would also be transformational for many families and enable mums and dads to share care as they choose to.  Fawcett research shows that the motherhood penalty is a strong feature of our workplaces with 46% of people saying women become less committed to their jobs when they  become a mother but 29% say men become morecommitted when they become fathers.  4 in 10 dads said they do not currently get the flexibility they need.

“The focus on low paid work, particularly in the care sector is essential if we are to address the undervaluing of work traditionally done by women. An industrial strategy is a good first step but we want to see a strategic investment in our care and childcare infrastructure.  This would help to close the gender pay gap and grow our economy. Only then will we see caring work properly valued.”

You can read the full report here.