Labour Market

IEA: Labour plans for women in the workplace “misguided and counter-productive”


Press Release

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Labour Market

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Responding to Labour’s plan to transform the workplace for women, Institute of Economic Affairs’ Kate Andrews said:

“Labour’s plans to ‘transform the workplace for women’ are misguided and counter-productive.
“Once again, the gender pay gap is being badly conflated with equal pay. Forcing small businesses to report their gender pay gap data would be a deeply flawed move, as the data is already crude and tells us nothing about equal pay. Small business will struggle to handle the regulatory burdens, not to mention that calculations made up of limited data are often statistically meaningless.
“New mandates around flexible working should be treated with caution, as it could increase costs for employers (who may need to invest in new systems to make it possible).
“Furthermore, prioritising an increase in Statutory Maternity Pay ignores the huge discrepancy between maternity and paternity pay. Until the latter is prioritised and addressed, it remains difficult for fathers who wish to take their existing shared parental leave allowance to do so. Making it easier for dads to take this time off would go a long way to addressing concerns around the gender pay gap.”

Notes to editors:

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For further IEA reading on the gender pay gap, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.