[2019] Motion 37 Smashing the gender pay gap: a vague sense of shame is not enough

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Fifty years since the Dagenham Ford machinists went on strike for equal pay, the UK has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe.

Congress notes that the gap widened in 2018/19, albeit marginally, and pay equality is still a long way out of reach.

Congress acknowledges the intersectionality impact on the gender pay gap, with Black African, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women experiencing significantly higher gaps than white women.

Congress believes that publishing gaps will not be enough on its own to bring about real change. A vague sense of shame is not enough. Tougher action is needed and there should be a commitment to enforcement and compliance. Mandatory publication and enforcement of action plans would mean employers would have to try much harder to close any pay gaps.

Congress also believes that improving data requirements is needed e.g. breaking down pay gaps for separate pay systems and publishing gaps for discrete job roles. The current, 250-employee reporting threshold should be lowered to 50 to enable better comparisons across the board.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. lobby and campaign for mandatory publication of action plans, improved data requirements and a reduced employee-reporting threshold
ii. lobby the Westminster and devolved governments to implement measures that support women better in the workplace, including action on bias in recruitment processes/procedures, improvements in carer’s leave and addressing the part time pay/promotion penalty
iii. support unions collectively bargaining for gender pay equality.



  • Insert new sub-paragraph iii. and re-number iii. as iv.:
    “iii. campaign for pay gap reporting within employers for disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”
  • At end of existing sub-paragraph iii., add “including guidance to make the case for improved workforce monitoring to tackle pay inequality across other protected characteristics by employers.”