Glass ceiling (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 16, 2017
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


This is on the maternity pay gap.  It is on the maternity employment rate, a supplementary question.  We talked about the gender pay gap and I now want to talk about the motherhood pay gap.  From the moment you become a mother and enter the workplace in this country you are disadvantaged.  The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has produced some national research, not London research, which shows that a woman aged 42 in full-time employment is facing a pay penalty for being a mother of 11% over the lifetime of her job.  She is always going to get about 11% less on average compared with a woman without children.  I wonder whether you are going to do, or are doing, any work on working out what is this sort of the motherhood pay penalty in London where it will be, I think, much higher.  If you could do that work then you could share your findings please with the Assembly.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Glass ceiling (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Glass ceiling (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can we change that question in relation to the link with child‑care issues as well as the issue about mums.  Although I have no statutory role in relation to childcare I have got a big role in relation to leadership in London in relation to this issue.  Childcare is very expensive.  There are childcare deserts around London and so with my statutory Deputy Mayor, Joanne McCartney AM, we are doing work in relation to what we can do with establishing three Early Year Hubs which will help the issue of childcare and accessibility.  Separately we launched the childcare loan deposit scheme and we are encouraging others to do so.


The key thing we are working on in relation to influencing other employers outside the GLA family is the Good Work Standard.  In answer to a previous question I mentioned how we work in this where we can encourage employers to sign-up to the Good Work Standard.  One of the things will be addressing the issue you refer to.


How do we stop a situation where if you are a mum you are less likely to progress in your career and you are more likely to earn less?  How do we make childcare more accessible?  A number of things we are doing with the good work practice, if I am frank, in relation to the pay gap between a mother and others in the workplace, or a mother and men in the workplace, that is not an issue we are looking at specifically but I am happy to discuss that with my Deputy Mayor, Joanne McCartney AM, about what work we can do, or works already been done which we can feed in to.


Nicky Gavron AM:  It would be great if you could do some research on that.


The other thing is that, with the introduction of the benefit cap, women on low incomes now, it is getting worse for them and it is particularly so if you are a single mother.  It means that you cannot access childcare until your children are two and you cannot afford it obviously.  You cannot get free childcare.  Four single mothers, earlier this year, took the Government to court, and they took the Government to court on the basis that they could not take up the 16-hours of work because they could not get childcare.  The judge ruled in their favour and said that it was unlawful of the Government to include mothers with children under two in the benefit cap.  Can you believe this?  The Government have appealed against this.  I want to know if you are lobbying the government on this and if you can make sure that the judge's ruling is carried through.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I am afraid, Chair, and I am embarrassed to say this, I am not familiar with the case, so can I look at the case and speak to the team about this because it is astonishing?  By the way, the impact of the Government's benefit cap, particularly in London with the high cost of living we have in London.  I am really happy to go and look at the judgement, Chair, and then consider what action we should take as a consequence of that.


Nicky Gavron AM:  Thank you.