THE FAWCETT SOCIETY has published new data from marginal ‘red wall’ constituencies in northern England, looking at which policies to tackle the gender pay gap would win votes in a general election.
One of the key findings was that 36 per cent of women in red wall constituencies would like to work more (paid) hours than they currently do, but are being prevented by reasons including a lack of flexible work, their caring responsibilities, and a lack of affordable childcare. Three quarters (75 per cent) of women in these constituencies said affordable childcare was an important factor when deciding which party to vote for.
- 84 per cent of women in red wall constituencies say that taking action on the gender pay gap is important to them when deciding which party to vote for in a general election.
- 36 per cent of women in red wall constituencies would like to work more (paid) hours than they currently do but are being prevented by reasons including a lack of flexible work (33 per cent), their caring responsibilities (23 per cent), and affordable childcare (23 per cent).
- 75 per cent of women in red wall constituencies said that affordable childcare is important to them when deciding which party to vote for.
- 71 per cent of red wall women say that requiring employers to have gender pay gap action plans would make them more likely to vote for a party.
The Fawcett Society is calling on the UK Government to:
Improve pay gap reporting by:
- Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for employers
- Requiring employers to publish action plans to tackle their pay gaps, so that real action is taken to reduce pay inequality with accountability and transparency built in
- Lowering the threshold for pay gap reporting to 100 employees, bringing the UK closer to the standards set by other countries.
- Require employers to offer flexible work arrangements as default and advertise jobs with flexibility built-in.
- Reform the childcare system to increase affordability whilst ensuring our children get the best start in life.
- Ban questions about salary history during recruitment and require salary bands to be displayed on job advertisements.
- Introduce a free standing and legally enforceable ‘Right to Know’ what a male colleague is paid for equal work
The research is based on a Survation poll commissioned by the Fawcett Society in ‘red wall’ constituencies – constituencies in the Midlands and North of England, that were a Conservative gain from Labour at the 2019 general election.
* Read: The Gender Pay Gap and Red Wall Constituencies here.
* Source: The Fawcett Society