Manifesto 2019:Tackle Poverty and Inequality - Women and Equalities - Women

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Labour will put women at the heart of our government and programme. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, yet women still earn 13% less than men. Labour will take action to close the gender pay gap by 2030.

We will also:

  • Deliver gender pay equality by making the state responsible for enforcing equal pay legislation for the first time. The new Workers’ Protection Agency working with HMRC will ensure that employers take equal pay seriously and take positive action to close the gender pay gap. Women will no longer be left to take enforcement action by themselves through the courts.
  • Require all employers with over 250 employees to obtain government certification on gender equality or face further auditing and fines. By the end of 2020, we will lower the threshold to workplaces with 50 employees, whilst providing the necessary additional support for small businesses.
  • Revolutionise parents’ rights by increasing paid maternity leave from nine to 12 months, doubling paternity leave to four weeks and extending pregnancy protection. We will ban the dismissal of pregnant women without prior approval of the inspectorate.
  • Transform the workplace and require all large employers to have flexible working, including a menopause policy, and consider changes to sickness and absence practices.
  • Enable positive action for recruitment to roles where employers can justify the need for more diversity and introduce a right for all workers to request flexibility over their hours from the first day of employment.
  • Ensure that the single-sex-based exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision.
  • Create a safer society for women and prioritise domestic abuse as a health issue, introduce 10 days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse, and ensure women’s refuges receive the long-term sustainable funding they need. Misogyny and violence against women and girls will become hate crimes.
  • Increase women’s representation across parliament by building on the Equality Act, passed by the last Labour government, and enact Section 106 so that all political parties publish diversity data about electoral candidates.