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Should your workplace reveal your pay?

The One Show Team | 15:57 UK time, Friday, 12 June 2009

Share your views and stories here.

Forty years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act, women in the UK still earn on average 23% less per hour than men.

Heather RabbattIn her film about equal pay, Heather Rabbatts, Deputy Chairwoman of Millwall football club told us about the government's Equality Bill. If it makes into law, it will force larger companies to reveal the difference between what they pay men and women.

The theory is that it's secrecy that allows companies to pay men and women different rates.

"Most women earn less because of their lifestyle"?

In the film, Heather encountered differing views. Hospital housekeeper Mo Reid believes that transparency is essential. She won a fight for more money after finding out how much men in comparable roles were earning.

But former Conservative MP Edwina Currie opposes the bill. She insists it's only natural that there's a pay gap between men and women. She believes that the bill will not benefit women, but will add to red tape hindering businesses.

Edwina: "Most women earn less because their lifestyle and their life choices are rather different. The ones who take time out to look after their children are going to find that when they come back into the job market that they're coming back at a lower level than the chaps who've stayed there. It follows as the night follows day that they're not going to earn as much."

See also: Equalities.gov.uk - equal pay questionnaire on right of page.

Is it secrecy that allows companies to pay men and women different rates? Or are there other issues that need to be addressed? Should your workplace reveal your pay? Share your stories here.


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