Magazine article Public Finance

Town Halls 'Worsening' Gender Pay Gap

Magazine article Public Finance

Town Halls 'Worsening' Gender Pay Gap

Article excerpt

The gender pay gap for local government managers increased significantly last year, despite long-standing legislation designed to tackle the scourge of low wages for millions of women, figures have revealed.

Data published by the Chartered Management Institute on September 5 shows that while the gender pay gap is lower across the public sector than in the private, key public employers contributed to an overall rise in income inequalities between the sexes last year.

In the local government sector, senior women's pay increased by an average of 3.9% last year, compared with 6.3% for men: the first time that female pay has increased by a lower margin in more than a decade.

The figures led Jenny Watson, the chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, to call for renewed efforts to enforce equal pay legislation. 'The Equal Pay Act has been in force for more than 30 years and is now in serious need of modernisation,' Watson warned.

Hundreds of UK town halls face multimillion pound lawsuits unless the issue is addressed, while some local authorities have already been forced to backdate larger settlements for female staff. …

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