Labour pledges to let workers set their own hours in major shake-up of employment rules

Posted On: 
7th November 2019

A Labour goverment would give workers the opportunity to choose the working hours that best suit them, the party has announced.

The party vowed to deliver a radical shake-up of employment rules
Credit: 
PA

The party said it would deliver a "workplace revolution" which would give people the automatic right to flexible working unless employers could prove the job required set hours.

The radical plans would also see Statutory Maternity Pay increased from 9 to 12 months, while larger firms would also be forced to introduce a "menopause workplace policy" in a bid to reduce stigma.

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Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler, said: "Next Thursday, it is equal pay day, the day when women effectively stop getting paid for the rest of the year compared to their male counterparts. It's a disgrace.

"I'm sick of how women are treated at work. Audits aren't enough, we know there's a problem that needs fixing. So we will do something about it.

"We'll also extend the amount of time a new mother can spend with her newborn by extending Statutory Maternity Pay to 12 months, so that all mothers can afford to spend those vital early months with their baby."

Meanwhile, the party vowed to create a "Worker's Protection Agency" which would be handed powers to fine firms which failed to tackle the gender pay gap.

It comes after new figures would from the ONS' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings found the mean gender pay gap for full time workers sits at 13.1%.

Ms Butler added: "Labour will deliver a workplace revolution to bring about a step-change in how women are treated at work. We'll boost pay, increase flexibility, and strengthen protections against harassment and discrimination.

"After years of our concerns being ignored, it's time for real change."

The announcement builds on Labour’s pledge to create a new ministry of employment rights which would put “power in the hands of workers” rather than the “born-to-rule establishment” by increasing wages and protections.

Unveiling the plans in September, Mr Corbyn said the new ministry would look to ban unpaid internships and zero-hour contracts while also overturning Conservative changes to trade union law.