The Office for National Statistics recently published the Annual
Survey of hours and earnings 2005 showing that the pay gap between men
and women in the private sector is much higher than the pay gap between
men and women working in the public sector. The pay gap between men and
women working full time in the public sector is 13.3% compared with
22.5% in the private sector and the pay gap between men and women
working part time in the public sector is 33.5% compared with 44.7% in
the private sector.

From 2007 public sector employees will be under a duty to promote
gender equality n the workplace but no similar duty is being placed on
the private sector.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission is
reported to have stated that the Government will need to decide what
action private sector employers are to take when the Government
responds to the report by the Women and Work Commission into employment
practices due to be published next month.

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