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Labour's proposals offer real improvement for working women

8 November 2019

TSSA welcome today’s announcement that under a Labour government mothers will be given maternity pay for a full year after the birth of their children.

Lorraine Ward, Assistant General Secretary, says “What Labour offer today are real improvements for working women.

“Women are often forced to give up work to care for new babies because of the costs of taking unpaid time off work and the difficulties finding childcare. A Labour government will allow new mothers to take paid maternity leave for 12 months meaning more women can stay in employment. Plans to extend parental leave will give more partners the chance to spend more time with their children. Parents will be able to find the solutions that work for them instead of having to find the “least worst” option – which usually means the mother’s career suffers.

And the union welcomes Labour’s other announcements today. Ward says

“Menopause affects 13 million women a year. Our union is already pushing for workplace policies with our employers. A Labour government will break the stigma associated with menopause and force large employers to offer menopause policies.

“Flexible working can make the difference between mothers being able to stay in work and having to leave. Too often employers put workers in the position of having to defend their need for flexible working, with yearly reviews and an emphasis on convenience for the employer. The new “presumption in favour of flexible work” will put the shoe on the other foot, making it easier for all workers to get the flexible working pattern they need.

“We know that the best way to ensure workers can access their rights is by membership of a trade union. Giving Trade Union Equality Reps statutory recognition, training, and paid time off, like Health & Safety Reps will strengthen unions’ ability to defend their members’ rights.

"The message to women today is clear. Only Labour will defend and improve your rights in the workplace. Labour is the only choice that makes sense for women of any age."

Notes to Editors

• Lorraine Ward’s job title is Organising Director, a post equivalent to Assistant General Secretary.
• Lorraine’s remit includes oversight and leadership of London Underground, Transport for London and British Transport Police

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