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Economy, Fair Work and Jobs Committee launches inquiry into gender pay gap

Economy, Fair Work and Jobs Committee launches inquiry into gender pay gap

Businesswomen - Image credit: Fotolia

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Fair Work and Jobs Committee has launched an inquiry into the gender pay gap.

Whether closing the pay gap will boost the Scottish economy is a key question it aims to consider.

The committee’s inquiry comes as current research shows that progress on closing the pay gap has been so slow that on current trends it will not be eradicated until 2069, 99 years after the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

Women working full-time in Scotland still earn 6.2 per cent less than men on average.

According to figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), the largest pay gaps are found in skilled trades and management, with the highest pay gap, at 29.9 per cent, in finance and insurance – a sector where 51 per cent of employees are women.

According to UK government figures, equalising women’s productivity could add almost £600bn to the economy.

They also suggest that if the 2.2 million women who wanted to work could find jobs, 10 per cent could be added to the size of the economy by 2030.

Gordon Lindhurst MSP, Convener of the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, said: “The committee wants to consider the economic value of equal pay and understand the impact of the gender pay gap on the Scottish economy. 

“Vital to this inquiry will be the direct experiences of people ‘on the ground’- the businesses and organisations that are working to close the gender pay gap, and individuals who struggle to access equal pay.

“Their expertise and experiences will guide and lead our work, telling us what measures are being taken – and what still needs to happen - to create a level playing field.”

The deadline for submitting evidence to the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee is March 10 2017.

The committee will produce a report on its findings on the gender pay gap, including policy recommendations, in June.

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