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Labour promises increased maternity leave for working mothers

Labour has promised to deliver a 'workplace revolution'. Credit: Sean Roy

Labour has promised to deliver a "workplace revolution" for women by increasing statutory maternity pay and boosting flexible working hours.

Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler said a Labour government would create a new workers’ protection agency with powers to fine employers who fail to report or take action to deal with their “gender pay gap”.

However the Conservatives said Labour's plans would lead to job losses.

Under Labour's plans, statutory maternity pay would be increased from nine to 12 months and there would be a assumption workers could enjoy flexible working hours from their first day in a new job.

Larger employers would be required to put in place policies to support women going through the menopause.

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Tackling and reporting sexual harassment would be made easier, making employers liable for harassment experienced by staff or "third parties" such as customers or clients.

Employers would be required to publish their sexual harassment policies, while contractual clauses which stop the future disclosure of discrimination, harassment or victimisation will be made void.

The role of trade union equality representatives would be enshrined in law.

Dawn Butler will announce key Labour policy pledges during a speech on Friday. Credit: PA

Ms 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.

“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.”

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom warned the plans would lead to job losses. Credit: PA

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom warned the plans would lead to job losses.

“A vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is a vote to put businesses and jobs at risk,” she said.

“Their reckless plans would cripple businesses across the country – leaving hardworking people to pay the price.”