Chapter

New Labour policy and the gender pay gap

Grimshaw Damian

in Women and New Labour

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348289
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304302 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861348289.003.0007
New Labour policy and the gender pay gap

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This chapter reports the empirical trends in women's relative pay. Against a backdrop of limited improvement in gender pay equality, it then explores the government's response along three dimensions: the role of the Women's Equality Unit and special review bodies; specific labour-market policy; and changes in public-sector pay. Analysis of earnings data over the last 20 years provides an essential backdrop to the question of how effective the New Labour government has been in closing the gender pay gap. It is shown how government bodies, voluntary-sector organisations, and public- and private-sector employers could implement new practices to help women make better choices in the world of work. New Labour must decide whether the current state of women's employment is appropriate to the norms and values of twenty-first-century UK society. The evidence from the bulk of social-science research suggests that a radical shift in policy is needed.

Keywords: gender pay equality; labour-market policy; Women's Equality Unit; New Labour; gender pay gap; employment; UK society

Chapter.  7975 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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