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Commenting on tonight’s (Friday) announcement by the Prime Minister on tackling the gender pay gap, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The gender pay gap will continue closing at a snail’s pace unless the government comes down much harder on employers.

“This announcement is a damp squib that will have little impact. Companies should be forced to publish their pay gaps – not merely encouraged.

“Real action would be fining businesses who do not share information on what men and women are paid. And making firms explain what steps they are taking to close their pay gaps.”

Commenting on plans to extend flexible working rights, Frances said:

“It’s high time more people are given access to flexible working. Millions of mums and dads are struggling to juggle childcare with work.

“But it’s a shame that workers on agency and zero-hours contracts won’t benefit from this policy. Ministers must help them too.”

Editors note

- Since 2011 the full-time pay gap has fallen by an average of just 0.2 percentage points a year. At this rate it will take around forty years to achieve pay parity between men and women.

- Between 1997 and 2010 the full-time pay gap fell by 0.6 percentage points a year.

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