WOMEN CAN’T AFFORD ANOTHER 5 YEARS OF THE TORIES
Reversing economic equality
- At a time when women and their families have never had it so tough, this Government
has hit women and their families hardest.
- Independent House of Commons research has found £22 billion out of the £26
billion (85 per cent) of cash raised over this Parliament from tax and benefit
changes has come from women’s pockets.
- According to the IFS families with children have been hit hardest of all by David
Cameron’s choices - a clear betrayal of his promise to lead the most family-friendly
- 44 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed women still earn just 81p for every pound a
man earns. Even David Cameron thinks it’s acceptable to pay one of his own Cabinet Ministers less than her male predecessor.
(When Baroness Stowell was Leader of the House of Lords it was revealed that she would be paid £22,147 less than her male
predecessor, until public pressure forced David Cameron to top-up her wage with Conservative funds).
- Progress on closing the gender pay gap has slowed under this Government yet they have refused to implement Labour plan to
require large companies to publish their pay gap.
Fewer women accessing justice
- Since this Government introduced Tribunal fees, the number of claims for sex
discrimination has fallen by 91 per cent.
- Despite a rise in recorded rapes and reported incidents of domestic violence Police
referrals for rape have fallen by 28 per cent since 2010 and prosecutions are down 14
per cent. Prosecutions for domestic violence are down 5 per cent and convictions have
- The Government has wasted millions on Police and Crime Commissioners whilst
Women’s Aid report refuges have reached ‘crisis point’ with hundreds of women
turned away a day from lack of space and closures.
The real record on women in work
- The story of this recovery has been one of low-wages, insecure and temporary work –
hitting women particularly hard.
- Over a quarter of all working women are now on low pay and make up the
majority of workers on zero-hour contracts - Yet the Government has refused to
back Labour plans to ban exploitative zero-hour contracts, provide incentives to
employers to pay the living wage and raise the minimum wage to £8.
- More women are moving into part-time work than ever before, where the average
wage is 1/3rd less per hour than full-time work.
- The average annual wage for a self-employed woman is below the minimum wage,
but a third of female employment since 2010 has been in women registering as
- More young women are being left behind under this Government;
- Half a million young women (18-24) are not in education, work or training, higher
than when Labour left Office.
- The number of young women unemployed for over a year has increased by 29.5
per cent since the election.
Balancing work and care
- Childcare costs have soared under this Government with the price of a nursery place up
30 per cent since 2010.
- There are 720 fewer Sure Start centres than in 2010 – and many more are running
reduced services because the Government has removed the obligation to provide
access to childcare.
- The number of registered childcare places has fallen by 40,349 under the Tories.
Hitting the most vulnerable:
- The Government’s own figures estimate that 2/3rds (400,000) of those hit by the
bedroom tax are women, including women under sanctuary scheme protection whose
homes have been made safe against perpetrators of domestic violence.
Out of touch with women’s lives
- David Cameron and Nick Clegg have shut women’s voices out of Government and are
out of touch with the reality of women’s lives and struggles.
- Women make up just 24 per cent of Ministers in both the Cabinet and Junior Minister
roles, meaning the Government has failed to meet the target it set top businesses for
- For comparison, 45 per cent of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet are women.
- Just 25 per cent of Tory candidates are women and 30 per cent of candidates in retiring
- For comparison, 53 per cent of Labour’s candidates in target seats are
women and 65 per cent in retiring seats.
- There are 48 women MPs in the Conservative Party (16%) and just 7 Lib Dem women
- Labour have more women MPs than all the other Parties put together, with
women making up 1/3rd of Labour MPs (87 women MPs).
More progress towards ending the unfairness of women earning less than men – and
tackling low pay
- Labour will act to deliver Equal Pay for women. With a Labour Government companies
with more than 250 workers will have to publish their hourly pay gap in their annual
report because shining a light on the problem will encourage us all to tackle it.
- An £8 minimum wage under Labour benefit women most. That’s 3.9 million low paid
women who will get a pay rise.
- A quarter of working women are now earning less than the living wage. We’ll help
women and their families make work pay. In our first year in office Labour will give
every employer back 1/3rd of the cost of raising their staff’s pay to the living wage. This will pay for itself because more people will be
earning more and paying more in tax.
- Zero-hours contracts can place a huge strain on families, and affect more women than
men. We’ll ban exploitative zero-hour contracts so if you’ve been working regular hours
on a zero-hours contract, you will have a right to a regular contract under Labour.
We’ll support families to better balance work and childcare
- We will extend free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds of working parents to 25 hours to
support more parents back to work – and that’s on top of Tax-Free Childcare. We’ll fund it by increasing the bank levy – a tax on the
- We will guarantee access to wraparound childcare like Breakfast and Afterschool clubs
from 8am-6pm through your Primary School to help parents juggle work and family life.
- We’ll support both parents to share in those important first weeks with their new-born
by doubling paternity leave to four weeks paid at the minimum wage. We’ll pay for this in the savings we’ll make from more women
returning to work because of the 10 extra hours free childcare they’ll be entitled to;
Strengthening women’s rights in the workplace and restoring access to Justice
- 60,000 women are pushed out of work every year because of maternity discrimination.
We’ll strengthen the law to protect women from redundancy during maternity leave
and encourage positive support from employers on their return.
- Labour will reform the tribunal system to ensure cost is never a barrier to justice for
those who’ve experienced discrimination at work.
- We cannot reinstate the £600m of legal aid cuts imposed by the government but
making it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain support from a lawyer will be
a priority in Government.
Tougher action on domestic violence and sex crime
- Labour will make tackling violence against women a priority. We will introduce
compulsory sex and relationship education and establish a Commissioner to set
minimum standards for the police and in tackling domestic and sexual violence.
- We’ll scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the money to protect refuges from
We recognise that older women have never been so stretched
- Labour will support greater flexibility for older women often working, and helping with
grandchildren as well as caring for older relatives.
Women in work
- In Government Labour reduced the gender pay gap by a third – women went from
earning 72p for every male pound to 80p.
- Introduced Britain’s first ever national minimum wage, which helps around a million
people a year, the majority of them women.
- Labour gave part-time workers the same statutory employment rights as full-time
workers, helping to shrink the gender pay gap
- We introduced laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, extending and
strengthening sex discrimination rules.
Putting families first
- Opened 3,500 Sure Start Children’s Centres, providing support for parents and young
children in every community.
- We extended total maternity leave to a full year and doubled maternity pay. And we
established the right of dads to two weeks paid paternity leave.
- We introduced the right to request flexible working for millions of parents and family
- Labour doubled the number of registered childcare places to more than 1.3 million, one
for every four children under eight years old.
Putting domestic violence and sex crime on the political agenda
- Under Labour convictions for rape increased by 45% and there was a 58% decline in
cases of domestic violence.
- Labour introduced specialist domestic violence courts, toughened the law and increased
- We took action to ensure the police, courts and criminal justice system handle violence
against women in a more sensitive and effective way.
Women’s voices at the heart of the decision-making process in Government
- Labour has more women MPs than the Tories and Lib Dems combined and women
candidates in 53 per cent of our target seats.