Equality Commission welcomes Scottish Parliament's gender pay gap report

Published: 26 Jun 2017

John Wilkes, the Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland, today welcomed the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament's inquiry into the gender pay gap. He said:

"Although the pay gap is slowly reducing, the fact that it still exists shows how society values men and women’s work differently. Pay inequality isn’t just an issue which affects women – it affects us all and contributes to in work poverty for thousands of households across Scotland.

"Low pay is a factor in sectors which are predominantly staffed by women – employers value and reward traditionally male jobs like plumbing far higher than traditionally female jobs like care giving. We support the view that the care sector is significantly undervalued but a growing and central part of Scotland’s economy.

"We support the Committee call for a national pay equality strategy which properly reflects the contribution that both women and men make to our economy.

"We particularly welcome the call for companies to be asked to reveal their pay gap, and what they are doing about it, when bidding for public contracts as we feel this could make an important difference. We should be rewarding those companies who are doing the right thing."

The pay gap in Scotland is 6.1%. Today’s report from the Parliament's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee sets out the reasons for the pay gap and suggests ways to tackle it.

Mr Wilkes continued:

“The persistence of the pay gap reflects how we in Scotland value men and women’s work. Some of Scotland’s poorest paid workers are in vital sectors looking after our children or older people. We need to attract skilled people into these sectors and reward them properly for the contribution they make to Scotland’s economy.”

Notes to editors

For further information or comment please contact Chris Oswald on 0141 228 5964 or 07846 889 425, or email chris.oswald@equalityhumanrights.com 

  1. The Scottish Parliament's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee released their report into the gender pay gap in Scotland this morning. The Commission gave evidence to the Committee in March 2017.
  2. The pay gap in Scotland is currently 6.1%. Recently approximately 6,000 women workers in Glasgow City Council won a major victory when a court confirmed that they were owed £6 million in lost earnings due to discriminatory pay policies.
  3. The Commission will be publishing its own recommendations for closing gender, race and disability pay gaps this year.

Scottish Parliament report: No Small Change: The Economic Potential of Closing the Gender Pay Gap