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2020 National Women's Conference
1 January 2020

2020 is the 50th Anniversary of the introduction of The Equal Pay ActConference celebrates the successes of UNISON in using the legislation to achieve equal pay for large numbers of its low paid women members, in particular those in local government. Conference welcomes that in 2017 the Government introduced compulsory gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250 or more staff and that the Equality and Human Rights Commission was able to achieve 100% compliance with this legislation in 2019. However despite it being 50 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in the UK, there is no sector in the economy where women are paid the same as men. In 2019 the median pay gap was a shocking 11.9 per cent. In the public sector the pay gap is a shocking 16.7 per cent, an increase of 0.7 per cent from 2018 and it is as wide as 39.3% in arts, entertainment and recreation. Despite the Government imposing disclosure rules that name and shame employers it is not making a significant impact to eliminate pay inequality. Almost 8 in 10 companies still pay male employees more. The 9,961 companies that filed their figures by the 4 April 2019, 7,755 paid male employees more.The regulations are not tough enough; companies are filing their information and not doing anything to close the pay gap. This is 2020 and this is still happening.Conference notes that the pay gap does not just impact on earnings it cuts across all aspects of women�s lives. Our earnings make a huge contribution to our families. The missing 16.7 per cent would offer so much more. In terms of our local communities, that is 16.7 per cent loss in income for women able to be spent at local level. In addition, it is money lost to the public purse through our taxation system. The public sector is the largest employer of women in the country. UNISON women are the voice of women in the public sector and it is incumbent on us to tackle inequality with our employers. Women frequently are over qualified for the jobs they are doing. Maternity and caring responsibility, along with the pay gap impacts on promotion and career opportunities. Pay inequality in women�s working lives leads to continuing inequality in retirement and in pensions. Conference we cannot continue to betray our daughters and granddaughters by letting another 50 years go by without achieving pay parity with men. We work for it and we deserve it. This Conference instructs the National Women�s Committee to: 1 )Highlight the impact of the gender pay gap on our women members and campaign for an end to disparity between men and women�s pay in the public sector2) Raise this issue at all levels in UNISON to produce a Gender Pay Equality Charter that enables organisations to commit to the elimination of gender pay inequality by a stated deadline by carrying out specific stated actions to level up pay3) Work with our service sectors to develop strategies and negotiating priorities to redress pay inequality. Request the creation of guidance for negotiators that all pay claims must seek to level women’s pay up and that employers� offers must be subjected to an gender equality impact assessment by the relevant regional or national Service Group4) Work with our Labour Link to develop Labour Party policy to tackle gender pay discrimination in the public sector. 5) Work with LAOS to develop training materials for branches and regions on equal pay and the gender pay gap.6) Consider sending this motion suitably reworded to National Delegate Conference