Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

Minding the gap

In Camden we have a long tradition of leadership when it comes to both transparency and promoting equality.

The next step on our journey to eradicate inequality comes next month when we will publish our pay gap analysis. We always strive to go the extra mile so we will not just be publishing our pay gap by gender, we will also be publishing the pay gap for ethnicity and disability.

We believe we will be the first employer in the country to provide this level of pay gap data. We are also doing so much earlier than required by the law. We are doing so because Camden Labour believes being transparent about the challenges you face helps get to solutions more quickly.

We want our workforce and our communities to be able to hold us to account for our performance and we want to lead by example for other employers across all sectors of our economy.

We are constantly challenging ourselves to achieve the best possible representation within our workforce at all grades and parts of the organisation. The diversity of the borough is it is strength and it must reflected in our workforce and all our employees must know they are being treated fairly.

By providing this level of detail we are exposing ourselves to open scrutiny by our staff, trade unions and our community in the hope that they can challenge us and help us do better.

We are serious about tackling inequality, and whilst Labour may be out of power nationally, it is not out of power locally.

We are determined that our Labour values will be reflected in our leadership of the borough and this is a latest in a number of initiatives to really tackle the route causes of inequality at all levels in our borough.

Our latest move builds on the leadership we have shown by becoming the first accredited Timewise Council promoting high quality flexible work at all levels of the council – and using our leadership to encourage other employers to do the same.

This has allowed those social groups typically on the fringes of the labour market, such as mother’s, to have better access to work whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Other initiatives such as targeted support for mothers from backgrounds with particularly low rates of employment, via projects led by the voluntary sector have helped reduce levels of inequality in the borough.

To date more than 250 women have taken part, and one fifth of these have moved directly on to education, training or employment

In Camden, Labour are committed to equality of opportunity. One of the ways we achieve this is by being open with the public so we can find solutions and tackle inequality together. The council will publish updates every six months as part of our commitment to data transparency.

The legal duty to publish this data, from Harriet Harman’s Equality Act, comes in to force early next year. We are publishing early and we are publishing more than we are required to. We are doing this because we are determined to tackle inequality wherever it exists. We hope our leadership will inspire other employers to be similarly open with their data so we can tackle persistent inequality together.

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Sarah Hayward is leader of the London borough of Camden. She tweets @Sarah_Hayward

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Photo: Images Money

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Sarah Hayward

is leader of Camden council. She tweets @Sarah_Hayward

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