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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 9th June 2009.

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Photo of Tim Boswell Tim Boswell Conservative, Daventry 11:31 am, 9th June 2009

Thank you. I wanted to touch on the question of the discrimination that may or may not be inherent in part-time work. My suspicion would be that there is a structural imbalance between part-time employees and full-time employees—in terms of their remuneration—that is gender neutral. Secondly, there may well be an indirect form of discrimination, because females tend to occupy more of the part-time positions. There are two factors operating, both of which in a sense are discrimination, but one of which is not particularly inherent in the Equality Bill—it may be, but in a different way, and it is not gender discrimination. Would you see that as a reasonable interpretation? Do you think that you can differentiate the factors arising from gender discrimination from what I might call structural discrimination—by the nature of whether the employment is full-time or part-time?