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Family Groups - Women

What are labour doing for men?

What is Labour doing for… women?
• One million women have higher pay, thanks to the minimum wage. And we’re working to reduce the gap between men's and women's earnings;
• increased maternity pay and leave, and a new right to request flexible working, so mothers can better balance work and family life;
• a National Childcare Strategy, and help with childcare costs, through tax credits, benefiting nearly 1.3 million families.
Our approach

Women can be mothers, pensioners, students, workers, taxpayers, patients, victims of crime and mortgage payers. Women represent the majority of those working in, and using our public services.

Women can feel safer in their communities and can have more faith in our schools and hospitals thanks to our massive investment and reforms in public services.

New rights to help people combine work and family life, and greater help for families with children have helped to improve life for women and their families.

Domestic violence is an appalling crime, which has a terrible impact on the lives of thousands of women and their children. That’s why we’re taking action including new laws to reduce domestic violence, which currently accounts for 25 per cent of violent crime.

What has been accomplished
• Supporting mothers: National Childcare Strategy supports choice by expanding good quality, affordable childcare. Maternity pay has increased to £102.80 a week. Paid maternity leave also rose from 14 to 26 weeks.
• A fair deal at work: Around one million women have benefited from the introduction of the minimum wage.
• Security in retirement: Helping the poorest and most vulnerable pensioners, the majority of whom are women, through free TV licences for over 75s, the winter fuel payment and the new Pensions Credit.
• A public voice: campaigned to encourage more women onto the boards of national public bodies. Parties now have the right to take measures to increase the numbers of women elected at all levels – only Labour has used these new powers. Labour in Westminster currently have 95 women MPs, 23 per cent of our total this compares with just 14 Conservative women MPs (8 per cent) and 5 Lib Dem women MPs (10 per cent).

Working with Europe
• Europe has been at the forefront of securing equal rights. Labour successfully negotiated and signed up to the European Employment Directive to give greater protection in the workplace and to safeguard lesbians and gay men from being sacked from their jobs because of their sexuality.
• In Europe, Labour continues to demand a fairer deal for women. Labour MEPs backed laws for “equal pay for work of equal value” which strengthened equal pay legislation.

The Tory threat
• The Tories don’t believe in our fairness at work agenda. Their attacks on basic minimum standards like a fair wage, decent holiday entitlement and a safe workplace would have a devastating impact on working women.
• The Tories opposed the National Minimum wage, which benefits over a million women.
• The Tories would axe Labour’s tax credits that benefit millions of women and their families.

Further information
www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk Women & equality unit, call 0845 001 0029
• Rachael Saunders, Labour Party Women’s Officer, 08705 900 200
www.eoc.org.uk – the Equal Opportunities Commission
www.fawcettsociety.org.uk – The Fawcett Society, campaign for women's rights at home, at work and in public life.

Devolution statement

Policies relating to childcare and domestic violence are devolved to Scotland and Wales, UK-wide issues such as the employment rights are reserved to Westminster.

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