The SNP has called on the UK Government to either strengthen employment law or devolve it to Holyrood in order to close the ongoing gender pay gap. In 2021 the average woman in Scotland earned 11.6 per cent less than the average man, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, while across the UK as a whole the average woman earned 15.4 per cent less.
SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: “The gender pay gap may be smaller in Scotland than it is across the UK, but our economy could benefit by a further £15bn if we had the powers to tackle that gap and work to close it for good.
“To help us do that, the UK Government must either strengthen employment law, or devolve employment law to the Scottish Parliament.”
The party is also calling for at least three days of paid leave for women and their partners who have a miscarriage before 24 weeks, as currently they have to rely on their employers’ discretion, or take sick or annual leave.
A UK Government equality hub spokesman said: “The national gender pay gap has fallen significantly under this government and by approximately a quarter in the last decade, with 1.9 million more women in work than in 2010.
“This is a result of this Government enacting legislation for the right to flexible working, shared parental leave and pay, including a new online tool to check eligibility, and doubling free childcare for eligible working parents. We will shortly put forward a range of measures to advance equality for women at work, increasing opportunity and tackling the issues that are holding women back.”
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