The work would make it illegal to fire women during pregnancy and for six months after returning to work, as part of a series of policies to protect and promote gender equality as the pandemic resumes .
The party has also pledged to revise Britain’s ‘failed’ shared parental leave policy and introduce reports on the ethnic pay gap. He also pledged to modernize equal pay laws to give women the right to know what their male colleagues are earning.
Labor is calling on the government to disclose the number of jobs created by programs like Kickstart, Restart and Jets by gender, ethnicity and disability.
The move will put pressure on the government to do more to promote equality in the workforce and protect pregnant workers as the end of the leave program draws near.
Experts have warned that women, who often dominate industries hardest hit by Covid, are at particular risk when the holiday program ends in September, with the Office of Fiscal Responsibility warning that sectors dominated by women are likely to face the slowest recoveries.
In March, 2,124,500 women were on leave, compared to 1,945,600 men. according to government figures, while in May of last year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that mothers were one and a half times more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs or quit since the lockdown began.
As Saturday marked the 51st anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, Marsha de Cordova, the shadow secretary for women and equality, said urgent action was needed to prevent a “two-tier recovery Of the pandemic. “Labor wants to see data on the number of jobs created, the impact of the pandemic on gender pay gaps and ethnicity, and an urgent review of the failing shared parental leave system,” a- she declared.
“Making it illegal to fire a new mother during pregnancy and maternity leave, except in very specific circumstances, is a simple and robust way to end discrimination.”
The charity Maternity Action hailed the move, saying government ministers have been promising reform since January 2017, after research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed widespread non-compliance with the share of employers. the study found that 11% of mothers – 54,000 working women – lost their jobs each year due to maternity discrimination.
It was “shocking” that the government did not take action to address the gender impact of the Covid19 pandemic, identified by the women and equality select committeesaid Ros Bragg, director of Maternity Action.
“With the repeatedly promised employment bill suspended, and with women facing a wave of unfair dismissals as the holiday program ends this summer, women must act now,” he said. she declared.
The charity also accused the government of falsely claiming that it reformed the dismissal policy to prevent discrimination in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, which said: “We reformed the dismissal law so that companies cannot discriminate against women immediately after returning from maternity leave. ” Bragg said there was no supporting evidence.
A government spokesperson said: “Discrimination related to pregnancy and maternity is illegal and has no place in the workplace, which is why we have already announced plans to extend the period. protection in the event of dismissal granted to mothers on maternity leave.
“Our plans will extend existing dismissal protections to pregnant women and for six months after a mother returns to work. This will also apply to those who take adoption leave and shared parental leave. “