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Equal Pay

Volume 888: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1975

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x asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will now refer those organisations he considers have not made sufficient progress towards the implementation of equal pay to the Industrial Arbitration Board.

I expect to refer a number of collective agreements to the Industrial Arbitration Board very shortly.

Is my hon. Friend aware that many thousands of women are suffering considerable loss of income because of the tardy implementation of equal pay by employers and the failure of the previous Conservative Government to activate the order under the Equal Pay Act? Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that he will refer those collective agreements which still contain discriminatory references to women to the Industrial Arbitration Board in the near future rather than at the end of this year?

I share my hon. Friend's regret that the Conservative Government did not make an order under Section 10 of the Equal Pay Act. Subject to the latest state of progress on equal pay, I hope to refer up to four agreements within the next week or so.