§ 35. Vernon Coaker
To ask the Minister what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Equal Pay Act 1970. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The Equal Pay Act had a significant impact in reducing the pay gap from 37 per cent. in 1975 to 18 per cent. today. It has been effective in providing legal protection against pay discrimination but also in challenging the culture of undervaluing women.
We are taking forward action to tackle the complex underlying factors behind the pay gap including promoting a voluntary approach to pay reviews among employers through the Castle Awards and with the help of the Fair Pay Champions, carrying out pay audits in Government Departments, and taking forward recommendations from the Kingsmill Review.