Holyrood committee to examine gender pay gap

Written by Tom Freeman on 5 January 2017 in News

MSPs will examine progress made towards narrowing the gender pay gap in Scotland

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The Scottish Parliament's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee has issued a call for evidence ahead of an inquiry into the gender pay gap in Scotland.

The group of MSPs will examine the gender profile of the public and private sector in Scotland and its impact on equal pay, and has called for evidence from businesses and academics.

A report published yesterday by the Resolution Foundation found the pay gap has halved to five per cent for women in their 20s, but there remained a sharp rise after the age of 30 as women were more affected by having children than men.


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The Scottish Parliament inquiry will focus on business performance, the Scottish public sector and Scottish Government action required to address the issue.

The Resolution Foundation report revealed the gender pay gap has closed for every generation of women since those born between 1911 and 1925 and has done so at every age of their working lives.

In a blog for the think tank, author Laura Gardiner said women still faced issues around part time penalties, opportunities for promotion and cultural issues like business being done informally in the pub.

Young women today know that we have rights and opportunities that our grandmothers would envy, and that like men in our generation we benefit from the living standards improvements, technologies and global connectedness that continued growth and human progress have brought," she said.

"But we also know from the statistics that we’re likely to spend more of our (longer) lives than women in previous generations reliant on our own earnings alone, and that reproductive biology remains what it always was despite everything technology has done. So while we should celebrate generational gender pay progress, a continued focus on gender differences at all stages of careers – and in particular action to address the sharp and long-lasting earnings penalty post-childbirth – remains a key challenge of our times."

Submissions to the Holyrood committee should be sent before March 10, and it will report to Parliament in June 2017.

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