Friday, 27 June 2008

Good policy!

Two good policy announcements in two days. Good.

1. Equal rights

Disclosure of pay scales, legally protecting employers who seek to balance their workforce by favouring female or ethnic minority candidates in otherwise equal circumstances, and outlawing age discrimination in goods and services, is an incredibly radical and visionary set of policies. They will be introduced in an Equalities Bill.

It is barmy to suggest that the gender pay gap is only because of child bearing and rearing (it is in large part but it is not the whole story.) Just take the City of London for example- there is a constant flow of cases to Employment Tribunals where women have consistently been passed over for promotion or rewarded less favourably than their male colleagues despite being brilliantly talented and postponing the start of their families. Tougher action and public shaming are needed.

2. Renewable energy

It is an EU policy driven commitment to raise the renewable share of our energy consumption to 15% by 2020. The Government is straight on the case with a forthright response. We have a lot of catching up to do but hopefully the conducive environment envisioned in the renewable energy policy will create a greener Britain and place us in the vanguard of global green technology. Britain as the green workshop of the world? I like that thought.

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