Workplace rights for parents and women under consideration


Government proposals under consideration would extend the employment rights available to both parents and women.

Under the plans, being drawn up by constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman, parents would have a right to take time off in order to look after children that were ill, although only one parent would be allowed to do this at a time.

Employees would have greater rights to request part-time work, while employers would have to prove that the job could not be done part-time before refusing such a request.

Meanwhile, the package of reforms would see the minimum wage being raised to help women on low pay, while workers would have a right to find out their colleagues' salaries, in order to combat pay discrimination.

Ms Harman told the Independent on Sunday: "We are really upping the stakes. We need to have a robust and rigorous approach to public policy on the family. We need to have mandatory pay audits because we can't tackle inequality when it is hidden."

She will give more details about the plans in a speech to the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equality between men and women, ahead of next month's Labour Party Conference.

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