Week ahead 25th Jan 2016

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This week the EEF policy team will be busy giving evidence to select committees on Tuesday, and then on Thursday we get the first look at what happened with GDP over the whole of 2015.

Tuesday 26th Jan:

Women and Equalities Select Committee on the gender pay gap.

EEF’s Head of Employment Policy Tim Thomas will give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on the gender pay gap. The Committee is particularly interested to understand why the gender pay gap is so high for women aged over 40. This inquiry is being undertaken at the same time as the Government is developing the requirement for employers with over 250 employees to report their gender pay gap.

While we know that such employers will need to report on this, the detail has yet to be published. Manufacturing has a higher than average gender pay gap and much of this is due to the industry struggling to attract and retain female talent. EEF will be raising these issues and others to the Committee during the evidence session. Read our previous blog on the gender pay gap.

The Lords Science and Technology Committee on the impact of EU membership on UK research and development in the private sector.

Science, research and innovation are all crucial foundations for long-term growth and productivity improvements in the UK economy. The EU plays a valuable role here, through its framework programmes, the single market and the free movement of people within the EEA. All of these provide support for innovation in UK manufacturing.
On Tuesday I will give evidence to the Lords Science and Technology committee about how well the EU does this job. Read our original submission on the link between the EU, science and research.

Thursday 28th Jan:

GDP (2015 Q4)

On Thursday we’ll have the first estimate of how the UK economy – and the manufacturing sector – performed over the course of 2015 as a whole. In q3 we saw that the pace of economic growth across the UK had slowed, while manufacturing output contracted for a third consecutive quarter.

It’s likely Thursday’s data will show that the UK economy posted fairly solid growth of 2.4% in 2015, though this is down from the 2.9% we saw in 2014. In manufacturing, we expect output to have fallen 0.1% over the course of the year, the result of weakness in demand from the oil and gas extraction and weaker global demand.

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