The government won't achieve its target of eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation if it continues to "ignore the evidence put before it", a cross-party group of MPs has warned today.
Publishing the government's response to recommendations made by the Women and Equalities Committee, the MPs raised concerns the government isn't tackling the "structural causes of the gender pay gap".
The Committee made 17 recommendations for addressing issues around the gender pay gap, saying the government had rejected most of them. The government noted gender pay gap reporting due to come into force in April was "key to accelerating progress".
Recommendations made included supporting parents to share childcare equally, supporting women back into the workforce after time out of employment and addressing the part-time pay penalty and flexible working.
The government said it felt individual employers were best placed to decide what types of working arrangements their businesses can accommodate. The report by the Committee had recommended that all jobs should be available to work flexibly unless an employer can demonstrate an immediate business case against doing so.
Committee chair Maria Miller said:
The government says there is no place for a gender pay gap in modern Britain and has restated its pledge to end the pay gap within a generation.
But without effectively tackling the key issues of flexible working, sharing unpaid caring responsibilities, and supporting women aged over 40 back into the workforce, the gender pay gap will not be eliminated.
Miller said the MPs' evidence-based recommendations were "widely supported" by a range of stakeholders including businesses and unions.
She said the Committee will question the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening, on the "inadequate response" in April.