Should women automatically get paid as much as men?

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I have to say that if pay is to be completely equal, then so should benefits - for instance, women get several months of paid maternity leave, but men only get a fortnight of parternity leave. Differences such as these must weigh on the minds of employers hiring or promoting staff. Is it better to have an employee on £250K who might unexpectedly have two weeks paid leave or one who might have 6 months paid leave? It's a simple decision.

We need to have a society where the financial costs and benefits of an employee to an employer are the same irrespective of gender before we can expect the employer not to take gender into consideration. Only then will we see workplaces making decisions based on ability and potential benefit rather than assumption and potential cost.

women can often do the job better than men so they should be payed the same rate as women if not more 

Women work harder then men, they leave the work to women, but get paid more not fair,time we had the same

If a woman does exactly the same job as a man, then they should be paid the same wage as a man. As things are at the moment, it is discrimination against women.

I can't believe we are even having this discussion in 2011. Go and see 'The Girls from Dagenham' if you haven't already. That was only the tip of the iceberg.

I remember my wages going up overnight when the Equal Pay Act came out and I was only working as a Saturday girl in a shop . It was truly amazing. The 'Glass Ceiling' is bad enough without reverting to men being automatically paid more than women. Get the right pay for the job no matter who is doing it.

I always knew there was a pay gap, but to see the figures laid out was quite shocking, especially when it is translated into unpaid time worked, I did not know that you could negotiate for a better salary than the one offered at interview so that is new to me but I did know that employers justify the pay gap by saying that women take more time off for family reasons, and also that some employers will not employ women of childbearing age, especially around the 30 year mark, as they don't want to, or can't afford to deal with maternity leave and all it entails, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with as well I believe, especially as that is not out in the open. As for the issue of who pays for lunch, well if he's earning more let him pay then you would have more money left to spend on other things, such as the ever rising cost of living.

Maternity and paternity should be added together and couples should be able to take 50/50 time off. That way the sorry (and pathetic) excuse from neanderthals that women 'choose to take time off to have children' can be put to bed for ever.

Women are very good at work. When they are there. A small employer never can be sure if they'll always turn up at work. Usually due to their family commitments which usually and naturally come first. This can cause resentment as others have to carry the extra load. With men you're buying more reliability. A fact of life. Ask any small employer.