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Muddying the equal pay issue

Joan Smith is perfectly right (Comment, September 2): only a misogynist would seek to justify unequal pay on the grounds that men are universally better than women. Genuinely unequal pay based on gender is unjustifiable.

Where the quoted figures on equal pay become muddled, however, is where women are paid less because they have taken career-breaks to raise children.

It seems perfectly fair to me that pay scales can offer rewards for expertise and experience from unbroken service in a job. Thus, it is not unfair that a man who has worked for five uninterrupted years should be further up the pay scale than a woman returning to an equivalent post with, say, only two years' experience.

There will be cases where a man will take a career break to raise children. In that circumstance, it would be only fair for him to earn less on his return to work than a woman who had done the same job for longer.


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