Here's What Happened When We Went To Parliament To See the Equal Pay Transparency Act Get Passed
The Debrief: We were there to see The Equal Pay Transparency Bill be passed...
MPs voted in favour of a ground-breaking piece of legislation yesterday, which ruled that any company over 250 people now has to reveal any pay discrepensies between the men and women who work for them.
A whopping 258 to 8 MPs voted in favour of implementing Section 78 on Equal Pay Transparency just before 3pm yesterday – can we get a HELL YEAH? We were at Parliament to support Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, our friends at Grazia mag who’ve campaigned for the Bill and –perhaps most excitingly – the original ladies of Dagenham who went on strike for equal pay back in 1968! They were also supported by some of the current stars of the Made in Dagenham musical including Gemma Arteton, and the Fawcett Society.
Ed Milliband even made an appearance and stated that he was ‘honoured’ to be in the same room as the Dagenham women – a pretty good turnout, but then again it was a pretty important Bill.
After we listened to journos and MPs tell us that we will earn 200k less than guys in our lifetime, we filed into the public gallery of the House of Commons to hear Sarah Champion make a brilliant 10-min speech to MPs on why we need the Bill and watched in horror as an initial vote produced a divided result. DUN DUN DUUN. We then sat and waited for a nerve-wracking 15mins whilst more MPs were called to vote…
And then after a confusing announcement (we really need to brush up on our knowledge of UK politics we didn’t know what was going on for a few seconds) we realised that the Bill had been passed!
The new law needs the backing of the current government to actually bring about much change, and there’s a second reading in the House of Commons on Feb 27th to discuss how it would all happen… but what an effing brilliant first step. For those irrational human beings who wonder why an earth we need such a bill get your head around this: at the moment women take home 81p to every £1 a man earns (unbelievable) for doing the SAME job and in some areas it’s even worse. Sarah Champion’s constituency in Rotherham sees ladies earn just 77p for every quid that her male counterpart banks, and this time last year the Office of National Statistics showed, depressingly, that the pay gap was widening for the first time in five years.
Although it’s unlikely that Cameron’s coalition will force big businesses to publish their pay info, this Bill is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s just shocking that over 40 years after the Dagenham Ford ladies had to fight for the Equal Pay Act to be introduced in 1970, we’re still battling for an even buck.
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