No Image Available

Annie Hayes



Read more about Annie Hayes

Equality in danger under pro-family policies


Money, money, money – is it still a rich man’s world? is the apt title of a new report by the Fawcett Society which looks at the impact of family-friendly policies on the plight of women in the workplace.

Maternity leave and parental rights have been boosted under Labour, recent proposals include:

  • extensions to maternity pay from six to nine months by April 2007 with the goal of a year’s paid leave by the end of the next parliament

  • transferable leave between mothers and fathers

  • extension to the right for parents to request flexible working from the 3.7 million with children under six to a further 1.8 million who currently look after sick or disabled relatives

But say the society, women’s financial position is getting worse not better. According to the report:

  • Compared to men working full-time, women working full time earn nearly 20% less per hour and women working part-time earn nearly 40% less.

  • Women’s employment is concentrated in the four Cs – caring, cleaning, catering and cash registers. These are low-paid and undervalued because they have traditionally been done on an unpaid basis and the skills are seen as natural rather than acquired.

  • Women still carry out most of the unpaid work in the home – true even when both partners work full-time. This limits women’s ability to compete with men in the job market.

  • Just 13% of today’s women pensioners are entitled to the full basic state pension, compared to 92% of men.

Director of the Fawcett Society Dr Katherine Rake said: “We recognise that the current Government has done much to improve the financial position of many women. But women’s income is still just over half that of men.

“In the run-up to this election, in which women’s votes are going to be so important, we want all parties to take bold action and adopt gender equality as an explicit target.”

Related items

No Image Available
Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes