March 23, 2016
Two reports published this week support the argument that it is when women have children and require more flexible hours, that they really start to feel the sharp end of the gender pay gap. A report by a cross party group of MPs on the Women and Equalities Select Committee, reveals that supporting men and women to share childcare and other forms of unpaid caring more equally would be one of the most effective policy levers in reducing the gender pay gap. Without this support, many women are trapped in low paid, part-time work below their skill level. This contributes to pay disparities and the under-utilisation of women’s skills that costs the UK economy up to 2 percent GDP, around £36 billion. It also found that not enough is being done to support women returning to work if they have had time out of the labour market. Meanwhile a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission says that three in four working mothers experience maternity discrimination.