Women and Equalities Committee examining impact of UK gender pay gap proposals on over 40s in new inquiry

Hayley Kirton
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Maria Miller: Measures announced by government so far do not target over 40s (Source: Getty)

An inquiry into reducing the gender pay gap, which focuses on women over 40, was launched by the Women and Equalities Committee yesterday.

“The gender pay gap is mainly a problem for women over 40, and currently hits women in their 50s even harder,” said Committee chair Maria Miller. “However, the measures already announced by the Government don't target this group. Our inquiry aims to fill this gap in Government thinking.”

The inquiry will consider the effectiveness of the proposals announced so far, including whether any changes could be made to help those aged 40 plus in particular, and how to improve recruitment, retention, promotion and training for the age group.

The Committee is currently seeking written evidence. The deadline for responses is 11pm on 29 November.

Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, Sarah Henchoz, partner in Allen & Overy’s employment practice, explained: “The issues surrounding the gender pay gap are complicated. There are a range of structural and cultural factors at play and I would expect that many of these will be most prevalent in the over 40s age group. I don’t think this fact will come as a surprise to employers, many of whom are already in the process of preparing for the introduction of gender pay gap reporting.”

Under new laws expected to be introduced in 2016, businesses with more than 250 employees will have to report their pay gap between male and female workers.

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