We are all equal in the workplace but some of us are more equal than others… as George Orwell almost said. The UK’s #EmployeeRightsDay
1. Equal Pay
There may have been legislation on this since 1970, but it seems that employers are still playing catch up. Gender pay gap reporting was rolled out to include many employers this year. It shows a narrow pay gap between men and women in their 20s but one that widens with age, particularly in senior executive roles. A good start, but we have some way to go.
2. Sexual Harassment
The #MeToo campaign has shone a light this year on how far we have to go, but the legislation does protect against unwanted conduct in the workplace and gives recourse to the Tribunal when it occurs.
3. Equal Treatment
The right to not to be treated differently because of sex, marital status, or gender assignment are some of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
4. National Minimum Wage
Women make up a large part of our low paid workforce. The National Minimum Wage offers a minimum hourly rate of pay. Whilst it should be a living wage, at least it sets the bar to stave off exploitation of our lowest paid.
5. Maternity Pay
The right to receive crucial pay for up to 39 weeks following the birth of a child.
6. Right to Return
Women have the right to return to their own job in the first six months following their maternity or adoption leave and a comparable job in the following six months.
7. Shared Parental Leave
Gone are the days when taking time off to look after a new baby or child was for women only. Both parents now have the right to share parental leave and take time off in the first year of a new child in a family. The more men take parental leave will be a crucial part of developing a flexible approach to work and family life that will smash through the glass ceiling.
8. Time Off Work for Family and Dependents
Emergencies happen and kids get sick. You have the right to take reasonable time off to look after dependants in an emergency. You don’t have the right to pay, but it is a start.
9. Flexible Working
The right to request flexible working has been an important feature of workplace rights for the last 16 years. This allows for compacted hours, job shares, part-time jobs and home working.
10. Reasonable Adjustments for Carers
This hasn’t happened yet, but we are hoping for change to the Equality Act to offer reasonable adjustments for those with caring responsibilities. Former Monaco Solicitors lawyer, Ellie Reeves MP, is co-sponsoring an Early Day Motion to make this change.
You should also find out what to do if you are bullied at work.
What employee rights for women would you like to see in the future?