Wage Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act

  • Brian Chiplin
  • Peter J. Sloane


Despite the relative importance of females in the British labour force and general statements in favour of the concept of equal pay for men and women made by various employers, trade unions and the government over a period of almost a century, the issue has generally been pushed into the background by what have been considered to be more pressing policy objectives such as full employment, price stability and economic growth. In line with other areas of labour utilisation few laws have been passed relating to the question of female employment but exceptions include the Employment of Women and Young Persons Act 1963 and the Factories Act 1961. The latter which consolidated earlier legislation, has the effect of limiting the hours and times of employment of women, protecting them from materials and processes which present particular health hazards to the female sex, and imposing restrictions on the lifting of weights and on working near moving machinery. The Mining and Quarries Act 1954 also, amongst other things, prohibits the employment of females below ground. Further, certain differences between the sexes are implicit in the fact that pensions have been payable to men at age 65 since 1925, whilst the age for women has been 60 since 1940.


Wage Rate Female Labour International Labour Organisation Female Employment Collective Agreement 


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  1. 3.
    Pauline Pinder, Women at Work, PEP Broadsheet 512 (May 1969).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Office of Manpower Economics, Equal Pay: First Report on the Implementation on the Equal Pay Act, 1970 (HMSO, 1972).Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    Department of Employment. Equal Pay: What Are You Doing About It? (HMSO, 1973). The alternative interpretation would have wide ranging implications in terms of removing regional wage differentials.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    These models are to be found in Joan Robinson, The Economics of Imperfect Competition ( London: Macmillan, 1965 ), and our own ‘The Economic Consequences of the Equal Pay Act’, Industrial Relations Journal, op. cit.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Brian Chiplin and Peter J. Sloane 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Chiplin
  • Peter J. Sloane

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