One More Push To Change The Law
It'll take just two easy steps, and two minutes of your time to get us closer to changing the law on equal pay.
Next week, after nearly nine months of campaigning, Grazia readers could FINALLY win a huge battle to enforce pay transparency for women here in the UK. On 11 March, Baroness Glenys Thornton, a Labour peer and spokesperson on equality, will stand up and table an amendment to an employment bill in the House of Lords. If her fellow peers vote in favour of it, Section 78 of the Equality Act (the piece of pay transparency legislation that was tabled as a private members’ bill at Westminster in December) could be enacted before this Parliament is dissolved at the end of March.
In December, the strength of Grazia’s Mind the Pay Gap campaign saw Section 78 voted through the House of Commons with a huge majority of 258 to 8.
Thousands of you have already signed our latest petition, asking peers in the House of Lords to do the same. Now we’re closer than ever to making this law, we need even more of you to sign up and send this NEW template email we’ve drafted to the three key peers who hold the key to swinging the vote in the Lords – urging them to support Section 78.
With just a week to go, and 8 March being International Women’s Day, it’s time to take action.
Here’s what you can do about it…
Email the key Lib Dem peers, cross benchers and bishops in the House of Lords - just copy and paste the letter below into a new email, fill in the blanks and send it to email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
SUBJECT: Please support Section 78 of the Equality Act on Wednesday
Dear Lords and Ladies
On Wednesday 11th March, Baroness Glenys Thornton will table an amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill in the House of Lords, calling for the implementation of Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 - requiring big companies to publish their gender pay gap.
I’m just one of the tens of thousands of Grazia magazine readers who have been calling for Section 78 to be enforced since the Mind The Pay Gap campaign was launched in June – because 45 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, countless numbers of us still aren’t getting equal pay for equal jobs.
It’s time to accept the voluntary approach to pay transparency is not working.
Section 78 is a simple piece of existing legislation that, if enforced, would help make big businesses more open and honest - focusing minds on closing pay gaps where they do exist and boosting employees' trust and confidence in companies where they truly don't. Everyone will benefit.
With less than a month until the end of this Parliament, this is last chance before the election to show the Lords cares about the lives (and pay packets) of thousands of hard-working women across the country. Please don’t miss it – or let us down.
[INSERT YOUR FULL NAME]
[INSERT YOUR ADDRESS]
UPDATE February 2015: Great news: Last week Grazia heard that we’ve got one step closer to winning our fight for equal pay. Baroness Glenys Thornton, a Labour Peer and spokesperson on equality, has just tabled an amendment to a current employment Bill in the House of Lords. This could see Section 78 of the Equality Act – the piece of pay transparency legislation we campaigned for at Westminster in December – put into action before this Parliament is dissolved at the end of March. With less than 90 days to until the election, this is the perfect window of opportunity to show politicians we're watching - and they need to show us they care about equal pay for women, if they want our votes.
Here’s why pay transparency matters…
✱ Many of us are working hard to pay rising bills or chip away at student loans. But if the colleague sitting next to you is a man, chances are you’re only bringing home roughly 81p for every pound that he does – even if you’re doing the same job. And that’s if you’re lucky: in some places, like Rotherham, that drops to 77p. That could add up to an unbelievable £200,000 over the course of your career. That is the average price of a house in the UK.
✱ As Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron showed, we need to
✱ The government says the pay gap narrowed slightly (for some women) last year - but it widened the year before that. At this rate, the Fawcett Society - the UK's leading charity for women's rights - estimates it will STILL take over 52 years for it to close altogether. We can’t afford to wait any longer for change, we need to take action now.
✱ Currently, big British companies don’t have to reveal the difference in pay between male and female staff doing the same jobs. Section 78 would change that. Countries that already enforce transparency, such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Belgium, unsurprisingly, report a much smaller pay gap between men and women. Only five companies in the UK do this on a voluntarily basis. Price Waterhouse Coopers which publishes their pay gap annually, says the impact has been wholly positive because 'what gets managed publicly, gets managed fairly'. All we're asking for is fairness.
Here’s what you can do about it…
When this Bill is debated in the House of Lords, at the beginning of March, Peers from all the main parties will get the chance to vote to put pay transparency into practice. But even if they vote the right way, the Government could still block it - so we need to stand up and be counted now, so they know that if they do, they could lose hundreds of thousands of votes.
We’ve done so much since we started our campaign, last year. One last Grazia-powered push could make all the difference…
UPDATE January 2015: You might have noticed at the end of last year, that Grazia won a massive victory when we took our Mind The Pay Gap campaign to the House of Commons. We got the bill we've been championing - to get Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 enforced - passed by a landslide 258 votes to 8. But the fight’s far from over yet.
On Friday 27 February, this bill will get its second reading in the House of Commons by Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham – the next step towards it becoming law. At this stage, it’s even more important that your MP supports it, as JUST ONE objection could derail the entire campaign, stopping the legislation in its tracks.
Last time, seven male Tory MPs voted against it, and another formally abstained. This time, we need to get that number down to zero – by letting MPs know we’re watching, and consider an objection to Section 78 as an objection to equal pay for women. Is that a move they can really afford to make, when there’s a General Election in May, and women make up half the vote?
We’ve made a huge noise with our campaign already, now it’s time to make sure our MPs are really listening. Please, email yours (and share this article with friends asking them to do the same) to tell them that if they value women - and your vote in May - you expect them to support equal pay on 27 February.
Here’s how to let your MP know you’re counting on them:
- Click on this link and enter your postcode to find your local MP’s name and email address.
- Copy and paste the text below into a new email, fill in your full name and address and send it to your MP with the subject line ‘Will you support Section 78 of the Equality Act?’
Dear: [INSERT MP’S NAME]
On 27th February, a bill calling for the implementation of Section 78 of the Equality Act - requiring businesses with 250 employees or more to publish anonymised details annually about the hourly pay of men and women they employ – will get its second reading in Parliament.
This bill is pro-women, not anti-business: all it is calling for is transparency – the next step to ending the gender pay divide. The organisations who have already voluntarily implemented it have reported that it has had a positive effect on closing their pay gap and on employee relations.
As my MP, I’m writing to ask you to support it, in line with Grazia's Mind The Pay Gap campaign. I will be following the bill's progress with interest - please don’t let me or your other female voters down.
[INSERT YOUR FULL NAME]
[INSERT YOUR ADDRESS]
Here's what happened when Grazia went to the House of Commons to see Section 78 through it's first reading...
2.57: The result is in! MPs voted 258 to 8 in favour of implementing Section 78 on Equal Pay Transparency. Stay tuned to Grazia Daily to find out what this means.
Ed Miliband with Grazia's Jane Bruton and Gloria De Piero
Ed Miliband shows his support for our Pay Gap campaign [Getty]
1.30: Ed Miliband shows support for our pay gap campaign at the House of Commons. Ed said: "The reason things happen are because people make them happen. I'm honoured to be in the room with the Made In Dagenham ladies."
1. 15 Only 5 companies voluntarily publish their pay gap, including Pricewaterhouse Coopers which publishes an 'adjusted figure' which looks at men and women of similar grades, performance levels and locations. Sarah Churchman from PWC spoke at parliament and said "we are delighted to have done this and so far have had no negative repercussions."
Grazia's editor-in-chief Jane Bruton
12.50 Grazia's editor-in-chief Jane Bruton delivered a speech where she said: I would particularly like to say how honoured I am to be in the same room as the inspirational 'Dagenham ladies' Gwen Davies, Eileen Pullen, Vera Sime and Sheila Douglas. Forty six years ago these women, then sewing machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham, went on strike with their female colleagues in protest at a pay structure that blatantly favoured male workers.
Jane continued: "In 2014 women are still only earning 81p for every male pound. Yes there were some promising figures out last month – but we should not have to wait another 44 years (52 according to The Fawcett Society) for the gap to disappear. I don’t want to wait that long. We shouldn’t have to wait that long. This is not a time to rest on our laurels."
"This isn’t just a Women’s issue, this is a fight for everyone who believes in equal reward for equal work. It would be a fitting tribute to Gwen, Eileen, Sheila and Vera and every other woman past and present who have fought and are still fighting today for a basic right - equality."
12.15: We're in the Churchill room with MP Gloria De Piero and the original Dagenham protesters.
11.50 Our editor-in-chief Jane Bruton with Gemma Arterton, who is starring in Made in Dagenham, inside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the vote on Section 78 on Equal Pay Transparency.
Grazia's editor-in-chief Jane Bruton [Getty]
Gemma Arterton and the original 'Made in Dagenham' ladies
11.35: Gemma Arterton said at the rally: "I hope today we can shine a light on this issue and more people can be more confident about speaking up about it."
The pay gap widened last year, and on the current trends it will still take another 52 years to close the gap. Section 78 of the Equality Act (2010) would require big companies which employ over 250 staff to publish anonymised details of the average men and women across their company on an annual basis. This total transparency would be the first step to closing the gender pay gap.
11.25 Honoured to be joined by the original Made In Dagenham ladies at the #EqualPay protest with Unite The Union.
11.05 We're joined at the rally by the original Dagenham strikers and Gemma Arterton from Made in Dagenham.
10.45 Team Grazia has arrived at the Houses of Parliament with our banners to march for #EqualPay. 'What do we want? Equal pay! When did we want it? YESTERDAY.'
10.00 Today is the day we head to parliament, where a vote will take place at the House of Commons for Section 78 on Equal Pay Transparency. We've got our placards ready to go...
15 December 2015: The day is nearly upon us and we’re ramping up the support for MP Sarah Champion who will be proposing to implement Section 78 on Equal Pay Transparency.
But we’re not alone in our support. Not only have our fabulous readers been tweeting to the hashtag #EqualPay over the past few weeks, but actress Gemma Arterton along with the other cast members of the musical Made In Dagenham will be joining us at Parliament for the live results.
And if that wasn’t enough to give you feminist goose bumps, the ORIGINIAL Made In Dagenham women who fought for Equal Pay in 1968 will also be there with us.
You have one more day to rally your MP to attend the House of Commons to vote YES in the Ten Minute Rule Motion. See how to email your MP below.
Made In Dagenham
10/12/14: Next week, together with Unite, we’re taking Grazia’s Mind The Pay Gap campaign to stamp out the gender pay gap where the Government can’t ignore it: the Houses of Parliament. And we need you with us.
On Tuesday 16 December, MPs will take a vote that could change the law and signal the beginning of the end of the gender pay gap. They will be debating whether to implement Section 78 of the Equal Pay act, which would require companies with more than 250 employees to publish anonymous details pay between men and women. Transparency will mean a first step to closing the growing gender pay gap.
We’ve been campaigning for this since June: now we need to rally the troops and get your MPs to vote YES!
We’re calling all Grazia readers to email their MP, and share this article with friends asking them to do the same, because it can't be right that in 2014 we are still only earning 81p for every male pound!
It couldn’t be easier to do. See how to find your local MP and the email layout to send below…
Please email your MP and ask them to act – here’s how….
- Click on this link and enter your postcode to find your MP’s name and email address
- Then copy and paste the letter below into a new email, fill in the blanks and send it to your MP with the subject line ‘Will you vote in support of Section 78
of the Equality Act?’ to make sure your voice is heard…
Dear: [INSERT MP’S NAME]
On December 16th, there will be a debate in Parliament, calling for the implementation of Section 78 of the Equality Act - requiring businesses with 250 employees or more to publish anonymised details annually about the hourly pay of men and women they employ. This transparency would help end the gender pay divide.
As my MP, I’m writing to ask you to support it. Nearly 10,000 Grazia readers have already signed a petition asking for Section 78 to be implemented, so we can shine a light on salary inequality and take action to tackle it.
Please can you let me know which way you will be voting when it is debated in Parliament?
[INSERT YOUR FULL NAME]
[INSERT YOUR ADDRESS]