Equal Pay

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, for what reasons the UK has not accepted the obligation under Article 4.3 of the European Social Charter to recognise the right of men and women workers to equal pay for work of equal value.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The UK Government supports the work of the Council of Europe and continues to support the European Social Charter (1961). Since the European Social Charter came into force in the UK we have introduced a number of policy and legislative reforms that provide equivalent or greater protections for individuals in the field of equal pay.

We have also ratified a number of international conventions which provide equivalent protections and which the UK has implemented via national legislation.

We are fully committed to the Equal Pay protections in the Equality Act 2010. In 2014, we introduced equal pay audits for when employers are found to have breached equal pay law and in 2017 we introduced gender pay gap reporting.

Our equal pay legislation complies with EU requirements, which are reflected in Article 4.3 of the European Social Charter. We are committed to ensure that the robust protections provided by Equality Acts 2006 and 2010 and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland continue to apply after the UK leaves the EU, as will Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which will become part of EU-retained law.

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