Barking and Dagenham gender pay gap: MP slams 50 year delay in reporting differences between men and women’s pay

Public bodies, charities and businesses employing 250 or more staff have been reporting the percenta

Public bodies, charities and businesses employing 250 or more staff have been reporting the percentage difference between what they pay men and women on average per hour. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge has slammed the reporting of differences between men and women’s pay for not coming until 50 years after the Ford Dagenham strike.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP. - Credit: Archant

Dame Margaret commented on the day public bodies, charities and businesses across the borough had to report differences in men and women’s pay by law for the first time.

She said: “It is 50 years since the strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham brought the gender pay gap to the nation’s attention.

“The strike paved the way for the equal pay act which has been in place for almost the same amount of time.

“It is outrageous then that the gender pay gap remains so big,” she added.

By law employers with 250 or more staff have to report average differences in pay between all male and female employees at midnight tonight.

The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay, which deals with the difference between what men and women are paid for doing the same job. The figures reported this year are a snapshot of pay taken in one day last year.

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Women employed by Barking and Dagenham Council – which has 3,656 staff – earn on average 12.8 per cent less than men meaning for every £1 a man earns, a woman makes 87p. The UK average in 2016 was 18.1pc.

Council chief executive Chris Naylor said in a statement: “We are committed to removing the barriers that create gender segregation in our workforce.

“This means working hard to encourage more men to work in cleaning, catering and caring professions and more women to work in what have been traditional male occupations.”

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust – with 6,538 staff – reported an average 30.3pc gender pay gap meaning women earn 70p for every £1 men take home.

In its report, the Trust said the difference in pay is due to the proportion of females compared to males in its higher pay bands. It added women are under represented across its medical grades which is reflected across the country.

Women at Barking and Dagenham College earned 8pc less than male colleagues taking home 92p for every £1 a man made.

Barking entrepreneur Arinola Araba said: “It’s important women appreciate they have a lot to give. Women should not be afraid to ask for more.”