With the election a matter of days away I thought it would be interesting to see what each of the main parties were offering to make the lives of working women easier.
Looking at what each has to say doesn’t make one particular party stand out more than another. I did, however, find it interesting to see how each position themselves and what they appear to feel are the important issues.
Ladies what are your thoughts?
- Introduce 30 hours of free childcare for three and four year-olds for working parents and institute a capital fund to help primary schools develop nurseries if they do not have the current facilities to provide one.
- Improve take-up of shared parental leave by helping companies provide more flexible work environments so mothers and fathers are able to share parenting.
- Introduce a statutory right to a year’s unpaid leave to care for a relative.
- Make it easier to return to work after parental leave, or caring for an elderly relative, by supporting companies to take on parents and carers who are returning to work after long periods of absence.
- Require companies with more than 250 employees to publish data on the pay gap and between men and women and between black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees, and continue to work for parity in the number of public appointments going to women and push for an increase in the number of women sitting on boards of companies.
- Make the civil service recruitment as diverse as possible, from the perspective of gender, race and social class, and provide funding for schemes to help those returning to the workplace having cared for children and relatives.
- Strengthen the entitlement, within the NHS, to flexible working.
- Continue to lead a global campaign for the education of women and girls.
- Expand global efforts to combat the perpetration of violence against people because of their faith, gender or sexuality, and work to end the subjugation and mutilation of women and tackle sexual violence in conflict.
- Create a domestic violence and abuse commissioner in law, to stand up for victims and survivors, monitor the response to domestic violence and abuse and to hold the police and criminal justice system to account.
- Support victims of domestic violence to leave abusive partners by reviewing funding for refuges and ensuring victims who have lifetime tenancies and flee violence are able to secure new lifetimes tenancy automatically.
- Ensure that child victims and victims of sexual violence are able to be cross-examined before their trial without the distress of having to appear in court.
- Introduce dedicated provision for women offenders.
- Improve the childcare system as well as extend the 30 free hours of free childcare to include all two year-olds, and move towards making some childcare available for one year olds.
- Improve parental leave by extending maternity pay to 12 months and strengthen protection for women against unfair redundancy. Also double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay.
- Extend the period to apply for maternity discrimination to the employment tribunal from three to six months.
- The two-child limit on child benefit would be scrapped, and the ‘rape clause’ for receiving child benefit removed.
- The carer’s allowance would be increased by an extra £10 a week – a 17 per cent increase.
- Focus on women’s safety by appointing a commissioner to set new standards for tackling domestic and sexual violence, and enforce measures to prevent all forms of abuse, including female genital mutilation, and prohibit the cross examination of victims of domestic violence by their abuser in certain circumstances.
- Ensure a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion – including working with the Assembly to extend that right to women in Northern Ireland.
- Provide stable central funding for women’s refuges and rape crisis centres.
- Ensure broad representation of women, BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities in all kinds of apprenticeships
- Transform mental health support for pregnant women, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, and help them get early care when needed.
- Prioritise support, protection and equal rights for women and girls and aim to end female genital mutilation worldwide within a generation.
- Expand shared parental leave and introduce an additional month’s paid parental leave for fathers.
- Provide 15 hours a week of free childcare for all two-year-olds and then prioritise 15 hours free childcare for all working parents with children aged between nine months and two years, with a long-term goal of 30 hours free childcare a week for all children aged from two to four years, and for all working parents from the end of paid parental leave to two years.
- Abandon the two-child policy on family benefits and abolish the ‘rape clause’ for receiving child benefit.
- Raise the amount people can earn before losing Carer’s Allowance from £110 to £150 a week, and reduce the number of hours’ care per week required to qualify.
- Encourage employers to provide more flexible working.
- Make parliament more family friendly, and establish a review to pave the way for MP job-sharing arrangements.
- Continue the drive for diversity in business leadership, pushing for at least 40 per cent of board members being women in FTSE 350 companies.
- Extend the Equality Act to all large companies with more than 250 employees, requiring them to monitor and publish data on gender, BAME, and LGBT+ employment levels and pay gaps.
- Work with the Apprenticeship Advisory Group to increase the number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, ensure gender balance across industry sectors and encourage under-represented groups to apply.
- Extend the use of name-blind recruitment processes.
- Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects, also include teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content.
- Address period poverty by providing free sanitary products to girls at school.
- Decriminalise the sale and purchase of sex, and the management of sex work – reducing harm, defending sex workers’ human rights, and focusing police time and resources on those groomed, forced or trafficked into the sex industry. Also provide support for those wishing to leave sex work.
- Review the investigation, prosecution, procedures and rules of evidence in cases of sexual and domestic violence.
(Source: Daily Telegraph / Lifestyle)