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Commenting on the Labour Party’s workplace gender equality proposals set out today (Saturday) to mark the 51st anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work. But this crisis, and the government’s response to it, is deepening inequalities for women at work – especially BME women.

“These proposals from Labour, which the TUC has also called for, would help to ensure the clock isn’t turned back on gender equality.

“An obvious first step to confronting inequality and racism in the labour market is to reintroduce gender pay gap reporting and introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting without delay. And there must be an overhaul of our broken system of shared parental leave – we need improved and better paid maternity and paternity leave.

“It’s high time the government acted to end discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace too. Our research found that one in four pregnant women have been discriminated against at work during the pandemic, including being singled out for redundancy, furlough or simply denied more hours at work.

“And we must not let the government off the hook for its equality failures over the past year. Ministers must urgently carry out and publish equality impact assessments of all government policies during the pandemic.”

Editors note

- The TUC published its report ‘Pregnant and precarious: new and expectant mums’ experiences of work during Covid-19' in June 2020 which made a series of recommendations to end discrimination against pregnant women at work – including extending pregnancy and maternity redundancy protections to six months after a new mum has returned to work, and ensuring all workers have a day-one right to this protection, including pregnant women on zero-hours contracts.

-Press release June 2020 ‘Employers are breaking the law and forcing pregnant women out of work during the pandemic, warns TUC’

-The TUC has called for the government to reintroduce its gender pay gap reporting, including by signing this letter organised by the Fawcett Society and has called for the introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting

-Responding to the report by the Women and Equalities Committee in February 2021, which set out how women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, the TUC called for equalities impact assessments of government policies through the pandemic.

- Press release April 2019 TUC calls for overhaul of shared parental leave

- The TUC is part of the Alliance for Maternity Rights and have signed this Maternity Rights Action plan, led by Maternity Action.

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.


TUC press office  
020 7467 1248 

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