Pay penalty for mothers in part-time work ‘no surprise’

Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy.
Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has said it is “no surprise” that a new report has found that mothers in part-time jobs are being hit by a ‘pay penalty.’

Reacting to The Institute for Fiscal Studies report, Colr. Duffy said: “It is imperative that all organisations take steps to understand why part-time work diminishes opportunities for women to increase their wages and to address the negative impact of part-time work on employment opportunities.

“The Equality Commission too in its recent ‘Audit of Inequalities in Employment’ identified that ‘women experience a lower employment rate and a higher economic inactivity rate when they have dependents.’ One factor contributing to this is the lack of access to affordable quality child care. First class provision of childcare helps parents into work, to move families out of poverty while helping break the cycle of inter-generational deprivation.

“While Sinn Féin acknowledge affordability as a key issue, we stress the need for easy accessibility to high quality childcare provision in all communities, including rural communities.”

She added that another step to addressing this issue is the Gender Pay Gap, which is now an Act in the north. “It is worth noting that under Section 19 of the Act, employers are now required to publish information showing whether any gender pay disparities exist between their employees.

“Where gender pay differences are identified, employers will be required to publish an action plan to eliminate them and provide a copy of the action plan to employees and any recognised trade union,” Colr. Duffy concluded.