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Usdaw welcomes Labour's Mother's Day campaign to tackle maternity discrimination

Date: 24 March 2017 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed a Labour Party campaign to tackle maternity discrimination. It will be launched on Mother's Day, Sunday 26 March, by Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities.
TUC analysis published today shows that UK mums get one of the lowest amounts of decently-paid maternity leave in Europe. New mums in UK receive just 6 weeks. Only mothers in Ireland and Slovakia have a worse entitlement, with Croatia topping the table by providing 6 months decently-paid maternity leave.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is booming under this Government. According to their own data, every year up to 54,000 women are forced out of their job through maternity discrimination.
“Three-quarters of mothers say they have had a negative or discriminatory experience during pregnancy, maternity leave and/or returning to work after having a baby. Over half of mothers granted flexible working encountered negative consequences from their  employer Yet bringing forward a claim of maternity discrimination has been made more difficult with the introduction of employment tribunal fees, now costing women up to £1,200.
“A fall in average women’s wages, a stubbornly persistent gender pay gap and cuts to in-work support means the UK is heading down the Gender Equality League table. This annual survey by the World Economic Forum clearly demonstrates the difficulties UK women face and how working families are struggling to make ends meet.
“Huge progress was made by Labour in government to improve maternity and paternity rights. What has happened since clearly demonstrates one of the many reasons we need to return Labour to power.”
Labour has pledged to fight maternity discrimination by:
  • Scrapping employment tribunal fees that prevent women from challenging unfair employers,
  • banning exploitative zero-hour contracts that so often deny women their rights at work,
  • introducing a real living wage - rising to £10 an hour by 2020,
  • promoting affordable universal childcare,
  • defending our NHS from Tory cuts and chaos - ensuring mothers have the care and support they need
  • reversing cuts to Universal Credit that could see working mums worse off by
    thousands of pounds a year.
Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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