Skip to main content

Women and Equalities Committee update

22 September 2017

The Women and Equalities Committee re-opens inquiries into older people and employment, fathers in the workplace, and tackling inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The Committee will also take evidence from the Government Equalities Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and our Chair Maria Miller will be writing to Ministers in the Department for Transport about the draft Accessibility Action Plan.

Fathers in the workplace

The Fathers in the workplace inquiry follows on from the Committee's report on the Gender Pay Gap which found that many fathers want to fulfil their caring responsibilities for their children, and that sharing care between mothers and fathers is the key to reducing the gap.

In its Modern Families Index 2017, Working Families found that 53% of millennial fathers want to downshift into a less stressful job because they can't balance the demands of work and family life, that twice the number of fathers compared to mothers believe that working flexibly will have a negative impact on their career, and that men in the UK make up only 25.8% of the part time workforce.

Questions being considered by the inquiry include wether there are employment, social or attitudinal barriers to fathers sharing caring roles more equally, and whether fathers have the financial support to enable them to fulfil caring responsibilities.

Tackling equalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers experience poorer health, under achieve at school and can find it difficult to access public services. The tackling equalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities inquiry will look at the effectiveness of policymaking and what action the Government can take to tackle these and other inequalities, focusing on the 28 commitments to tackle inequalities faced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers made by a ministerial working group in 2012. 

All evidence received by the Committee for this inquiry before the General Election will be taken into account, so there is no need for people or organisations to re-submit their evidence. Anyone who would like to provide updated or additional information should contact the Committee at

Older people and employment

In 2010 one in four of the working age population was aged 50 or over and this is projected to increase to one in three by 2022. The average age of leaving the labour market is lower than in 1950, while life expectancy has increased: a quarter of men and a third of women reaching state pension age have not worked for five years or more. Almost one million people in the same age range who are not in employment state that they are willing or would like to work.

This inquiry, to be re-launched next week, will look at current Government policies to help people extend their working lives and consider further steps which could be taken to tackle issues including age discrimination. The Committee welcomes evidence from individuals as well as organisations.

Upcoming evidence sessions

  • Wednesday 11 October: The work of the Government Equalities Office, with Ministers.
  • Wednesday 25 October: The work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, with Chair David Isaac.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto