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Action Against Discrimination in Pay Systems: A Preliminary Evaluation of the Close The Pay Gap Campaign in Wales 2002-03

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Introduction to the project

Closing the gender pay gap is a political priority for most tiers of contemporary governance. For example, at a supra-national level the European Commission’s Community Framework Strategy on Gender Equality (2001-2005) is aimed at tackling the problem. Whilst in April 2001, the UK Government commissioned Denise Kingsmill, Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission, to undertake an independent, in-depth review into women’s employment prospects and pay. She published her Report into UK Women’s Employment and Pay in December 2001. In Wales, a singular approach to the GPG can be traced back to December 1999 and early consultations between the Equal Opportunities Commission Wales and the Welsh Assembly Equality Committee. Following a presentation by the EOC, the Committee decided that it should act to end the gender pay gap. The Assembly’s statutory equality duty was cited in progressing this work; the official minutes affirm that, ‘the Assembly had a statutory duty to have due regard to equal opportunities. This meant, among other things, reviewing its own pay structure’. Foremost of subsequent Welsh Assembly Government initiatives was the Close The Pay Gap Campaign launched in 2001 and undertaken with EOC Wales and the Wales Trades Unions Congress. The Assembly Government Minister with responsibility for equality matters described how the Campaign would build on existing reforms of National Assembly pay practices in the following manner: ‘from this solid footing we are working to spread the best practice across Wales’. This research covers the twelve-month duration of the Campaign (March 2002- March 2003). It also includes material from the earlier planning stage of the Campaign and selected developments since March 2003. This report addresses the following aims:

 

Aims of this study

The principal aim of the research is to:

• Evaluate the effectiveness and value for money of the Close The Pay Gap campaign

Addressing the foregoing aim also met the following objectives, namely to:

• Compare Wales to the rest of GB in terms of government policy, employer and union activity to narrow the gender pay gap, particularly in relation to the public sector

• Assess the impact of the Close The Pay Gap campaign on employers in the public and private sectors in Wales, identifying employers who have carried out pay reviews or are about to

• Assess the impact of the Close the Pay Gap campaign on trade unions in Wales

• Identify the tasks that are required to close the gender pay gap in Wales

Click here to download the complete report by Dr Paul Chaney [.PDF 1.19 MB]

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Cardiff University School of Social Sciences
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Paul Chaney, Ralph Fevre

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