§ Ms Hewitt
The pay gap between men and women currently stands at 18 per cent, down from 20 per cent. in 1997. In the financial services sector, the gap has reduced from 30 per cent. to 29 per cent. over the same time period. The Government are taking a number of steps to reduce the pay gap further. As well as the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and the provisions in the Employment Bill, the Fair Pay Champions and Castle Awards, are helping to spread good practice on equal pay. All Government Departments are committed to carrying out a pay review by March 2003.