The Regulation of Women's Pay: From Individual Rights to Reflexive Law?
Legislation mandating equality of pay between women and men was among the earliest forms of sex discrimination legislation to be adopted in Britain. However, the model embodied in the Equal Pay Act 1970 is increasingly being questioned: the law is, at one and the same time, highly complex and difficult to apply, while apparently contributing little to the further narrowing of the pay gap. As a result there is a growing debate about whether a shift in regulatory strategy is needed, away from direct legal enforcement to a more flexible approach, based around the concept of 'reflexive law'. This paper provides an assessment of whether reflexive approaches are likely to work in the equal pay area.
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