The government’s measures to address the gender pay gap have been criticised by MPs, it has been revealed.
While new flexible working freedoms were welcomed by MPs, the report also criticised the fact there is no requirement for new roles to be advertised as available for flexible working. It added that there should be more of a focus on moving away from unstable part-time work towards flexible, or agile, working where work is measured in terms of outputs rather than ‘presenteeism’.
Official figures show that three quarters of mothers currently have primary childcare responsibility. It also claimed that introducing parental leave has not and will not be effective until the poor take-up rates are improved. The research found that 2.3 million women are not in paid employment at a time of national skills shortages. In addition, UK paternity pay is currently lower than the UK average weekly wage and below the minimum wage. As part of its recommendations, the report has recommended that paternity pay should be increased to 90 per cent of salary for the first two weeks.
MPs also suggested that the government should offer fathers and partners an additional three months’ non-transferable ‘paternal’ leave paid for four weeks at 90 per cent of salary and then at the same rate as shared parental leave.