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Labour's policies for women in the General election 2015

More progress towards ending the unfairness of women earning less than men – and tackling low pay

  • Labour will act to deliver Equal Pay for women. With a Labour Government companies with more than 250 workers will have to publish their hourly pay gap in their annual report because shining a light on the problem will encourage us all to tackle it.

  • An £8 minimum wage under Labour benefit women most. That’s 3.9 million low paid women who will get a pay rise.

  • A quarter of working women are now earning less than the living wage. We’ll help women and their families make work pay. In our first year in office Labour will give every employer back 1/3rd of the cost of raising their staff’s pay to the living wage.

    • This will pay for itself because more people will be earning more and paying more in tax.

  • Zero-hours contracts can place a huge strain on families, and affect more women than men. We’ll ban exploitative zero-hour contracts so if you’ve been working regular hours on a zero-hours contract, you will have a right to a regular contract under Labour.

  

We’ll support families to better balance work and childcare

  • We will extend free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds of working parents to 25 hours to support more parents back to work – and that’s on top of Tax-Free Childcare.

    • We’ll fund it by increasing the bank levy – a tax on the bank debt.

We will guarantee access to wraparound childcare like Breakfast and Afterschool clubs from 8am-6pm through your Primary School to help parents juggle work and family life.

  • We’ll support both parents to share in those important first weeks with their new-born by doubling paternity leave to four weeks paid at the minimum wage.

     We’ll pay for this in the savings we’ll make from more women returning to work because of the 10 extra hours free childcare they’ll be entitled to (HOC library costed).

  

Strengthening women’s rights in the workplace and restoring access to Justice

60,000 women are pushed out of work every year because of maternity discrimination. We’ll strengthen the law to protect women from redundancy during maternity leave and encourage positive support from employers on their return.

  •  Labour will reform the tribunal system to ensure cost is never a barrier to justice for those who’ve experienced discrimination at work.
  •  Unfortunately, given the current state of the economy, we cannot reinstate the £600m of legal aid cuts imposed by the government. We will prioritise making it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain support from a lawyer.

 

Tougher action on domestic violence and sex crime

  • Labour will make tackling violence against women a priority. We will introduce compulsory sex and relationship education and establish a Commissioner to set minimum standards for the police and in tackling domestic and sexual violence.

  • My role as your Labour MP with a quarter of century of experience in this area will be invaluable - I helped to set up the system of national standards for perpetrator programmes working with domestic violence perpetrators, I helped establish domestic violence prevention programmes in schools from which the curriculum content for sex and relationship education draws a great deal of material.
  • We’ll scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the money to protect refuges from further closure.

 We recognise that older women have never been so stretched

  • Labour will support greater flexibility for older women often working, and helping with grandchildren as well as caring for older relatives.

 

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