Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Maternity rights are always high on Usdaw’s agenda. Discrimination against working mothers is a growing issue and we remain absolutely committed to providing a strong voice for their needs and concerns. So we very much welcome this commitment to extended maternity pay, yet another reason why working people need a Labour Government.
“The current system of 12 months leave, but only 9 months pay, means that the amount of time a mother can spend with her baby in its first year is dependent on how wealthy she is. So this is very welcome progress towards extending access to maternity pay and leave to women in lower paid jobs on short hours contracts.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Increasing Statutory Maternity Pay:
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
- Currently, pregnant women are entitled to 52 weeks of Statutory Maternity Leave but Statutory Maternity Pay only lasts for 39 weeks. Women who want to take a full year of maternity leave will not be guaranteed an income for the last three months.
- Statutory Maternity Pay entitles working mothers to 90% of their normal gross weekly pay for the first six weeks of their maternity leave, and then £148.68 or 90% of your pay if that is less than £148.68 for the remainder of the time. Employers can claim this back from government.
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