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'Women bearing brunt' of public sector cuts

Gender disparities in local government have been brought into the cold light of day by the impact of austerity measures. Figures show that more than twice as many women as men working in local government have lost their jobs. The female tally in local government has dropped by 253,600 since 2010, while 104,700 men lost their jobs during the same period.

Lord Oakeshott, who raised the issue with a parliamentary question, said, 'Public sector job cuts hammer women hardest. Rebalancing the economy on the back of sacked women in the public sector is utterly unacceptable.'

Commentators, however, have pointed out that there are more than three times as many women as men working in local government. Looked at in another way, the cuts have affected almost 18 per cent of women in local government, but more than 23 per cent of men. The unemployment rate for men generally is also higher than for women at 8.2 per cent compared to 7.3 per cent. But while the rate is falling for men, it is rising for women.

The recent Government spending review has announced that a further 144,000 public sector jobs will go this year. Critics have said that women are likely to bear the brunt of the cuts.

Acas support for public sector organisations undergoing change includes over 35 years of experience in helping organisations reach long-lasting solutions to employment relations issues. As a public body itself and an authority on change management, Acas can offer a range of services to help you through difficult times, for example with training courses in Managing change, Redundancy, TUPE and Stress.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects page for more information.

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