Mike Wood: What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of the announcement’s impact on the recruitment and retention of prison officers?
Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury
My hon. Friend makes a very important point. Prison officers will receive a 2% rise and a 0.75% bonus. Prison officers who were newly recruited on fair and sustainable terms will receive additional progression pay to make sure that we retain those really important workers.
Mike Wood: Mandatory reporting requirements are an important step in eliminating the gender pay gap, but does my hon. Friend agree that it will be key for shareholders and customers, as well as employees, to hold businesses to account on those reports?
Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women
Mike Wood: What sanctions are available if companies fail to meet their legal obligations to help to close the gender pay gap?
Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities)
What is the law is that gender pay gap reporting takes place. The EHRC has the ability to take measures that can end up with fines and further sanctions. In terms of proposals for companies to actually close the gap themselves, we encourage them to put forward their own plans.
Over the past two and a half years I have met many constituents who have been directly affected by the various changes to the state pension age. Listening to them, it is impossible not to feel every sympathy, given the circumstances in which many find themselves. If I suddenly found out that I would not be able to retire at the age I had expected, I am not sure that I could say how I felt—actually, I probably could, but I fear my language would not be parliamentary.
Mike Wood: On the 100th anniversary of the communist revolution’s introduction of a system that impoverished and imprisoned tens of millions, what is the Department doing to promote the benefits of free markets for workers, consumers and society as a whole?
Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy