Alasdair Thompson today apologised for suggesting women's periods affect their productivity in the workforce. this is his full statement:
The Chief Executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association, Alasdair Thompson has issued an unreserved and unqualified apology for his comments and behaviour in the media yesterday on the issues to do with equal pay.
"I apologise for my poor choice of words and bad judgment during the discussion about gender and productivity in the workplace," Mr Thompson said.
He said what started out as a genuine concern for the problems women face in the workplace soon disintegrated into facile observations that did a disservice to what is a very serious matter.
"I raised issues that were misplaced and irrelevant to the discussion," Mr Thompson said.
"I realise my remarks offended many people.
"I have personally always supported equal pay for equal work, equal opportunity, respect and courtesy for both women and men in the workplace.
"The EMA unquestionably believes in equal pay and both the EMA and I believe gender plays no part in the productivity of a person, and that there is no justification for gender to influence what someone is paid.
"Although this experience has been very painful to me, it has also served as a valuable lesson - one I shall never forget."