Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

April 05, 2007 19:01 ET

Amicus welcomes new rights for women

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Apr. 5, 2007) -

Embargoed until 00.01 Friday, 6th April 2007

Amicus welcomes the gender equality duty which comes into force on 6 April 2007. The duty is key for Amicus because it requires public sector employers to address sex discrimination, promote gender equality and to provide information and consult with unions. The duty has the potential to bring about real progress on equality for women in the public sector.

Gail Cartmail, Amicus' Assistant General Secretary, commented:
"80% of the workforce in health and social care are women, yet there is a 32% gender pay gap for full-time employees which is much higher than the average pay gap of 17% in this country.

"Many of our hard working and dedicated women members work in this area and deserve equal pay and better promotion prospects. Amicus will be working closely with employers in the public sector to ensure that they do not pay lip service to the gender equality duty and are actually taking action to close the gender pay gap."

Amicus, however, is disappointed that the new gender equality duty does not extend to the private, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors. Siobhan Endean, Amicus Head of Equalities, said: "The private and not for profit sectors have a wider equality gap than the public sector, and action is needed to promote gender equality at work if we are to move closer to ending discrimination at work.

"Amicus would like to see the public sector duty to promote equality extended to the private sector to avoid a two tier system of employment practice with regards to equality of opportunity.

"Our experience is that without a legal requirement to take action many employers in these sectors will continue to indirectly discriminate against women.

"Amicus is campaigning for the strengthening of the duty that will require all employers to take action to close the gender pay gap, support women to break the glass ceiling and provide flexible working hours for all employees."

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 / 07980 224761