Shockingly, in 2012 women were paid nearly 20% less than their male colleagues. It is an unacceptable difference and one the Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle.
Today we're announcing plans to require large companies to publish the difference in pay between male and female workers. This will create pressure from staff and customers to close any pay gap and deliver real equality in the workplace.
Unequal pay is a concern for both women and men. The principle of equality is one our party holds dear, and in practice women earning less reduces household budgets up and down the country. Over a lifetime the lost earnings can be tens of thousands of pounds. So, I do hope you will add your name to our campaign to deliver equal pay in the workplace.
The pay gap has several causes. In Government we are working to encourage wider career choices for young women so that they are not concentrated in lower paid roles and sectors of our economy. Our radical shake up of the workplace is aimed at ensuring flexible working is seen as the norm. It means that parents can share leave after a baby is born and will help deal with the element of the pay gap attributed to women having more time out of the labour market.
But part of the answer is about employers taking responsibility for their pay policies, and analysing any gaps that exist. Making large companies with over 250 employees publish the average pay of their male and female staff will create transparency about the gender pay gap. Women should be given the same opportunities and be properly rewarded for their work - it's as simple as that. Please support our campaign to make large companies publish what they pay men and women, to help make equal pay a reality.
Jo Swinson MP
Promoted by and on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, 8-10 Great George St, London, England SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom