date: 25 May 2010
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the Government's plans announced today (Tuesday) in the Queen's Speech to close the gender pay gap, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Forty years on from the Equal Pay Act, a new approach to closing the gender pay gap is desperately needed.
'It's important to consult with both employers and unions on any new measures, but the Government will soon find that genuinely bold measures to close the pay gap will be opposed by business groups. Ministers must stand up to their pleading.
'Increasing the number of women on the boards of listed companies is a worthy objective but this will need a fundamental shift in boardroom attitudes where men's club rules still operate.
'And while extending the right to request flexible working and promoting a system of flexible parental leave could bring positive changes to UK workplaces, the millions of employees set to benefit will not want to wait years before they get this new right.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Government's statement on flexible working and equal pay is available at http://www.number10.gov.uk/queens-speech/2010/05/queens-speech-flexible-working-and-equal-pay-50606
- The full time mean gender pay gap is currently 16.4 per cent.
- Further analysis of the Queen's speech will be available at www.touchstoneblog.org.uk
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet
Issued: 25 May, 2010