This chapter examines regulatory experimentation in relation to gender equality and the gender pay and representation gaps. The corporate sector has long promoted a voluntarist ‘business case’ for equality as part of their wider agenda to promote CSR, an approach that fits within the second web of rules. However, slow progress prompted governments to introduce proactive legislative measures such as gender pay gap reporting and gender quotas. At the same time, the traditional web of joint regulation continues to be relevant with trade unions using equal pay litigation to challenge the historical undervaluation of work by low-paid women and negotiate new collective pay structures to deliver tangible benefits to low-paid women. Union litigation in the UK local authority sector and the New Zealand care sector are compared. The chapter argues that the three webs are more usefully understood as complements rather than substitutes.
McLaughlin, C. (2023), "Regulatory Experimentation and Gender Inequality", Colfer, B., Harney, B., McLaughlin, C. and Wright, C.F. (Ed.) Protecting the Future of Work: New Institutional Arrangements for Safeguarding Labour Standards (Trade Unionism), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 53-66. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80071-248-520221008
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