A proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

The Tories have imposed a new contract on junior doctors in the NHS, much to their fury. Now there’s been a government “equality analysis” that says the new contract is bad for women but that’s ok because don’t be silly who even needs a because.

The Independent has the details:

Junior doctors are outraged over an equality analysis which appears to condone the new contract having an “indirect adverse impact on women”.

The analysis, published by the Department of Health, reads: “We consider that the payments proposed are fair and that any indirect adverse effect on women is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

It also says: “Whilst this may disadvantage lone parents (who are disproportionately female) due to the increased cost of paid childcare in the evenings and weekend, in some cases this may actually benefit other women, for example where individuals have partners, it may be easier to make informal, unpaid childcare arrangements in the evening and weekends than it is during the week due to the increased availability of partners and wider family networks at weekends and in the evenings.”

Aka them that’s got shall get, them that’s not shall lose. It will be bad for single mothers, in the way things always are bad for single mothers, because it’s more difficult and more expensive to be a single parent than it is to be a pair, but that’s ok because it will be good for the people for whom it’s already better. Tory social justice in a nutshell. “Look on the bright side: it will make the already prosperous more prosperous!”

Rachel Clarke in the Indy:

Yesterday, the Government published its equality impact assessment of the new junior doctor contract. Until now, female doctors’ salaries have kept pace with men’s because small annual pay awards prevent part-time doctors, of whom the vast majority are women, earning less than their full-time colleagues over time. But the new contract strips these safeguards away.

Now, as doctors progress through their training, we will see ever-widening gender pay gaps in medicine. Incredibly for a government ostensibly so committed to gender equality, the Department of Health hasn’t even tried to hide the discrimination at the heart of its new contract. Instead, it states in its assessment that: “Any adverse effect on women is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate end.”

Aka yes it’s bad for women but it gets us what we want so that’s fine.

A recent study by the statistics agency, Eurostat, found that the UK has the sixth largest pay gap between men and women in the European Union. Our gender pay gap means that, for every pound a man in Britain earns, on average a woman will still only receive 80 pence. That equates to us working for free for 57 days of the year.

When my five-year old daughter grows up she wants to be a doctor like mummy. The government claims to support such aspirations. Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women, pledges “to inspire young women and girls so that they can compete with the best in the world for the top jobs – and see that their hard work will pay off.” Except, that is, when it doesn’t suit Number 10.

And except when it’s actual money as opposed to words in speeches.

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