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Head of women’s employment and pay review appointed


Former lawyer Denise Kingsmill has been appointed by the government to head up the Women's Employment and Pay Review.

Denise Kingsmill, currently Deputy Chairman of the Competition Commission and a lawyer specialising in industrial relations and employment law, will oversee the progress of the review, which is intended to look at ways of reducing the gender pay gap in the UK. The review will consult with the Equal Opportunities Commission, employers’ representatives, trades unions, the Fair Pay Champions and Government Departments to look at ways of increasing opportunities for women and removing what the government says is 'a culture of low pay'.

Tessa Jowell said: "There are 12.5 million women working today – but they are still losing out in the labour market. A typical woman earns only 82 pence for every £1 that a man earns. And on average, compared to men, women have lower skill levels, less responsibility, fewer opportunities and lower promotion levels. "The next ten years will be a decade for women in work. It is vital that this is also a decade in which the employment opportunities for women improve, and in which the unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable pay gap for women is narrowed."

The Review will be completed this Autumn and Mrs Kingsmill will present her report to the conference on women’s employment, pay and prospects later this year. In February the CBI criticised the work of the Equal Pay Taskforce, accusing it of producing an "ineffective and disproportionate" proposal for closing the gender pay gap. It said requiring employers to carry out regular pay audits would not have a significant impact but would impose an excessive administrative burden.

When the Equal Opportunities Commission published its annual report in December, its chair stated that Britain 'still has to get to grips with the challenge of achieving equality between women and men'.


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