Improve Shared Parental Leave To Cut Gender Pay Gap

The government must do more to improve the sharing of parental leave if it wants to reduce the gender pay gap, a cross-party group of almost 50 MPs has urged in a letter backed by women’s and family charities.

Organised by the Labour MP David Lammy, the letter to Justine Greening – who is minister for women and equalities as well as being education secretary – warns that the gender pay gap will never be tackled as long as women end up with disproportionate responsibility for childcare.

The letter, signed predominantly by Lammy’s Labour colleagues but also a handful of Conservative MPs as well as those from the Scottish National party, Liberal Democrats and Greens, follows a report last month by the women and equalities committee.

The cross-party committee had said ministers’ decision to reject a series of recommendations, including three months’ paid paternity leave, and strategies for low-paid jobs largely done by women in areas such as care, cleaning and retail, meant the pay gap was unlikely to close.

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