30 October 2009
Women subject to pay discrimination, study suggests
In some areas of the UK, women are paid less than half as much as men, it has been suggested.
According to Fawcett Society data based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, the gender pay gap in West Somerset was 53 per cent.
Meanwhile, the remuneration differential in Windsor and Maidenhead was said to be 49 per cent and in South Northamptonshire the gap was 43 per cent.
Responding to the statistics, Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society - which has roots tracing back to 1866 and campaigns for equality between women and men - said they show that equal pay laws are not working.
She added: "With one in three employment discrimination claims being for unequal pay and cases taking up to ten years to complete, the tribunal system is at breaking point."
Ms Goddard went on to suggest that it is "finally time" to make good the pledge made nearly 40 years ago to stamp out gender pay inequality.
Samantha Mangwana, employment solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker and Fawcett Trustee, commented: "Although gender pay discrimination has been unlawful since 1970, the sad fact remains that women are still paid much less than men in this country.
"New laws have been proposed to address this in the Equality Bill which is currently before parliament, but these figures go to show that the law alone is not enough.
"Pay discrimination needs to stop. The onus should not have to be on women to take complex and lengthy tribunal claims for equal pay but to get paid at proper value for the work they do."
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