Tony Lloyd: Government “failing an entire generation of women” on gender pay gap

The gender pay gap in the North West won’t close until 2070, new research by the Labour Party can reveal.
Reacting to the figures, Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, slammed the Conservatives of “failing an entire generation of women”.
Tony said, 
“It is absurd that the gender pay gap isn’t projected to close in Rochdale until 2070.

“Instead of taking action to plug this gap, the Conservatives are standing by while progress goes into reverse, with women in Rochdale and across the North West facing a 49-year wait to be paid what a man does for the same work.

“That means an 18-year-old woman entering employment in Rochdale today will have to wait until she turns 67 before the gender pay gap closes.

“That is, quite frankly, outrageous. The Conservatives are failing an entire generation of women.”

The analysis to mark Equal Pay Day shows progress on the gender pay gap has stalled significantly under Prime Minister Johnson’s Conservatives, with ten million women across the UK now projected to work until retirement without seeing equal pay – up from 8.5 million a year ago. 

Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds MP, added, “It’s clear that the Conservatives are failing an entire generation of women in the North West.

“Labour would take urgent action to close the gender pay gap by giving women the ability to compare their salaries with men doing the same job in a different firm, and forcing employers to bring forward plans to eradicate pay gaps.”

While progress to close the gender pay gap has gone into reverse under the Conservatives, Labour has pledged urgent action to close it by:

  • Modernising equal pay legislation to allow for equal pay comparisons across employers where men and women are carrying out comparable work.
  • Enforcing the requirement to report and eliminate pay gaps, with employers required to devise and implement plans to eradicate these inequalities.
  • Ensuring outsourced workers are included in employers’ gender pay gap reporting and pay ratio reporting.
  • Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for firms with more than 250 staff, to mirror gender pay gap reporting rules.

The figures come as women continue to struggle with the hugely unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The gender pay gap increased by 13% between April 2020 and April 2021, when women were more likely to be furloughed, more likely to lose income to home-school, and more likely to work in sectors that are expected to see the slowest economic recovery from the crisis.

In the eight years of Labour Government between 2002 and 2010, the gender pay gap narrowed by just over 7%.