Equal Pay Day (yesterday) marks the point in the year when women effectively stop getting paid compared with their male peers, with women still falling 13.1% behind in earnings.
To support female workers into fair wages, the Labour Party promised to introduce a real living wage of £10 per hour, extend gender pay gap reporting rules to employers of 50 or more workers, require firms with over 250 employees to obtain government certification on gender equality and put a duty on employers to publish action plans detailing how they will close their organisational pay gaps.
These new rules will be strictly enforced by a new Workers’ Protection Agency, the Labour Party pledged, and fines will be imposed on employers who break the law.
New mothers will be helped back into work by a full year of maternity leave, free childcare for 2-4 year olds and extra protection against unfair dismissal and redundancy.
Through sectoral collective bargaining, which will be introduce in all sectors, Labour also says it will introduce national pay scales in low-paid sectors like childcare.
In the public sector, pay will be raised by ending the cap on wages and enforcing a 20:1 pay ratio. Outsourced services will be brought back into State hands, while those still procured from the private sector will be assessed to ensure they meet fair work standards such as effective equalities policies and negotiating with unions.
Laura Pidcock, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, said: “For far too long the interests of working women have been at the bottom of the list of priorities for government.”
“Employers will no longer be able to treat the issue of the gender pay gap as an afterthought. Instead, they will be expected to take proactive steps to close it,” she promised