New report says the Scottish Government could use devolved powers to help close the gender pay gap, and boost Scotland's economy.
The ‘No small change’ report released by the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee looks at the economic potential of closing the gender pay gap.
A key recommendation stemming from the report is that social care should become a Scottish Government priority sector, acknowledging the importance of the sector to Scotland’s economy.
The report concluded that improving pay, conditions and the status of the child, adult and elderly care sectors would not only reduce the gender pay gap but also help recruit a more balanced workforce.
Evidence put forward to the inquiry by Scottish Care highlighted that the workforce in the social care sector is 86 per cent female. They go on to state that “the fact that our workforce is not truly representative and sufficiently diverse is itself because of the low pay and poor terms and conditions.”
Convener of the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, Gordon Lindhurst MSP said:
“The Committee is clear there is a gender pay issue for Scotland’s workforce. Women across Scotland’s economy are still concentrated in low-paid jobs and part-time work. The pay gap primarily affects women and isn’t just attributable to women choosing to start a family or to take time out of their careers.”
Mr Lindhurst continued:
“Each and every one of us is likely to rely on professional care at some time in our lives. Despite the radical change in skills over the years, this continues to be one of the lowest-paying, female-worker dominated sectors in Scotland. We want to see the Government address this issue by prioritising the care sector; it is vital that we raise the status of care in Scotland.”