The NFWI welcomes the enactment of Section 78 of the Equality Act (2010) which requires that all businesses with over 250 employees conduct and publish a gender pay audit. The Equality Act enshrines into law the right of women and men to receive equal pay for equal work. It replaced previous legislation, including the Equal Pay Act of 1970, which the WI lobbied for following our 1943 resolution calling for equal pay.
According to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the current gender pay gap stands at 19.2%, meaning that for almost two months out of every year the average woman works for free compared to her male counterpart. In real terms, on average, women earn about £100 a week less than men.
It is clear that urgent action is needed to close the gender pay gap once and for all. That is why the NFWI was delighted to spend part of our centenary year participating in talks and consultations with the Government Equalities Office on how to implement Section 78.
Equal Pay Day this year will be marked on 22 February, 2016. To get involved in marking the day, email Lisa Plotkin.