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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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Sarah Veale: I dispute those figures. I think that the gender pay gap has been somewhat underestimated there, so I disagree quite strongly. The fact of the matter is that it has been stubbornly stark on what is a much higher figure for part-time workers, which, by the way, is nearer to 40 per cent. I do not think that indicates that 40 years of a piece of legislation has worked on a voluntary basis and with a few employers being kicked willy-nilly into the tribunals.

I think that there is a problem with the individual basis of the law. You need more collective solutions, but it is not working. Any other piece of law that had not been working for 40 years would be a cause of national outrage. It is illegal to discriminate, yet it is happening.