Dame Anne Begg MP highlights new analysis revealing that women in Scotland are earning 17.8 per cent less than men an hour.
This year, Equal Pay Day – the day women effectively start working for free because they are still paid less than men – fell on the 4th November which was 3 days earlier than in 2013 because of the rising pay gap.
Figures from 2013 show that the earnings gap between fulltime male and female employees in Aberdeen was £1.24 per hour costing women £2,579.20 a year.
Labour have pledged to take action to deliver equal pay by requiring companies with more than 250 workers to publish their hourly pay gap in their annual report. For the first time employees will be able to see if discrimination exists and whether all the top jobs are still dominated by men.
Dame Anne said: “More young women than men are now going to university and yet these figures show many more women are still ending up in lower paid jobs. It’s now been 46 years after the machinists walked out of Dagenham in protest over the pay divide, which prompted the Equal Pay Act two years later. We can’t wait another 44 years for change. Women deserve equal treatment and equal pay.
“Under David Cameron and Nick Clegg the pay gap is back on the rise after years of progress, as families are struggling with rising prices. A Labour Government will take action by asking employers to publish their pay gap.”
Anne was delighted to host a meeting of her Women’s Forum with guest speaker Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.
The main discussion surrounded the referendum on 18th September and why women are supporting the No campaign because it offers the best future for women across Scotland.
Margaret Curran also took the opportunity to showcase Scottish Labour’s five pledges for women. She said: “A year from now, I want to be Secretary of State for Scotland in a Labour Government. The first woman to hold that position in 12 years and only the second woman ever. Improving the lives of women across Scotland will be high on my agenda from day one in the Scotland Office.
That is why I have already set out an ambitious plan for the next Labour government in Scotland. One that gets to grips with the pay gap. That deals with the injustice of 5000 women being forced out of work after maternity leave. And makes sure that from our Parliament to our public bodies, we have truly equal representation, so that we properly represent the communities we serve.
This is real change that we can guarantee for women across Scotland less than a year from now.”
Anne’s Women’s Forum meet regularly to discuss any issues affecting them in a relaxed and informal environment. If you live in Aberdeen South and are interested in being added to the mailing list for Anne’s Women’s Forum, please contact Kathryn Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.