MPs vote to see clarity in equal pay

South east Northumberland’s MPs have voted in Parliament to introduce pay transparency across large companies.

It is a measure put forward by the Labour Party that will require companies with more than 250 staff to publish their own gender pay gap in annual reports.

Labour MPs, including Wansbeck’s Ian Lavery and Blyth Valley’s Ronnie Campbell, were joined in the House of Commons by Gwen Davis, Sheila Douglass, Vera Sime and Eileen Pullen, four of the original Dagenham women who went on strike for equal pay, a move that led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

Also present were actresses Gemma Atherton and Isla Blair who starred in the hit musical Made in Dagenham.

But despite Labour voting through the motion, Liberal Democrats and Conservative MPs failed to vote in favour after the government indicated that it did not intend to make pay transparency the law.

Statistics show that women still earn an average 81p for every pound earned by men, despite the Equal Pay Act being passed 44 years ago, and because of the gender pay gap, women earn an average £209,976 less over their lifetime than men do.

Mr Campbell said: “Women in Blyth Valley should not have to wait another generation for equal pay.

“Pay transparency will shine a light on the problem and help employers to close the pay gap once and for all.”

The campaign is being led in Parliament by Labour and supported by Grazia magazine as well as employers such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Genesis Housing who are among just five major companies to voluntarily publish their pay gap.