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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Ministers urged to boost women's pay
Salary advice slip
Women in full-time work are paid, on average, 18% less than men
The Equal Opportunities Commission has urged the government to do more to close the earnings gap between men and women.

The call comes as the Kingsmill Review into women's pay prepares to release its findings early next month.

Julie Mellor, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) said: "The review rightly emphasised the need to ensure women do not face barriers to promotion.

"But the government will also need to address the fact that women and men are still concentrated in different kinds of work, and those dominated by women tend to be low paid".

Underpaid

British women are paid on average 18% less than men for similar full-time jobs.

Women involved in part-time work are paid on average 39% less than their male counterparts.

Ms Mellor said: "An effective government strategy for closing the pay gap will need to include action a number of fronts.

"The national shortage of affordable childcare is also a major obstacle to equality. Employers can not overcome these obstacles on their own."

Ms Mellor also suggested the government should tighten up the legislation aimed at reducing the wage gap.

The independent Kingsmill Review, headed by lawyer Denise Kingsmill, was launched last April.

It is expected to deliver a range of voluntary guidelines to help business reduce the disparity in pay, but not a full-scale review of the legislation.

See also:

17 Oct 01 | Business
Women bosses an endangered species
09 Oct 01 | Business
Women gain tribunal upper hand
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