Earnings: Mothers and Fathers Debate

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Department: Department for Education

Earnings: Mothers and Fathers

Baroness Chakrabarti Excerpts
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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Clearly, such cases are extremely regrettable. I can only repeat what I have already said: the law is absolutely clear on this, as are the routes to redress.

Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti (Lab)
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My Lords, surely the law is flawed, because it leaves it to individual women to enforce the law themselves. We do not do this for school standards, food standards, environmental standards, and so on. It is asking too much, surely, to expect an individual woman to find out what her colleagues are being paid and then sue her employer. Surely there is a role for the state in investigating and enforcing equality law.

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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This is the third time in fairly short order that the noble Baroness and I have touched on this important subject. As she knows— I know she believes this is not sufficient, but to be clear—the law already protects people who want to have these crucial conversations about pay with their colleagues. We are seeing that people are increasingly open in discussing their salaries, and the Government welcome this shift. There were, of course, a number of cases: over 2,500 equal pay claims were entered into the employment tribunal system between July and September last year, and each one of those is an important reminder to employers of their legal obligations.