Government must assess equality impact of every policy

Updated: Mar 23

The Women and Equalities Committee has published its report on coronavirus and the gendered economic impact. The report has found that the economic impact of coronavirus has affected men and women differently. This is because of existing gendered economic inequalities, the over-representation of women in certain types of work and the actions the Government has taken.

Key recommendations

The report calls on the Government to:

  • Conduct an Equality Impact Assessment of the Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme. This should draw on existing inequalities and would better protect those already at a disadvantage in the labour market, including women. It could also inform more effective responses to future crises.

  • Assess the equality impact of the Industrial Strategy and the New Deal, and analyse who has benefited from the industrial strategy. Priorities for recovery are heavily gendered in nature, with investment plans skewing towards male dominated sectors.

  • Conduct an economic growth assessment of the care-led recovery proposals made by the Women’s Budget Group. (Treasury)

  • Maintain increases in support, including the £20 increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance. (Department for Work and Pensions)

  • Review the adequacy of and eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay. Women are over represented among those who are not eligible.

  • Legislate to extend redundancy protection to pregnant women and new mothers.

  • Review childcare provision to provide support for working parents and those who are job seeking or retraining.

  • Reinstate gender pay gap reporting and include parental leave policies, ethnicity and disability.

  • Provide better data to improve reporting and analysis on how gender, ethnicity, disability, age and socio-economic status interact to compound disadvantage.