Women at work most affected by election

Women at work have the most to gain or lose from who wins the election according to a TUC analysis of manifesto claims by the two main parties.

Research by the Low Pay Commission included in the TUC’s analysis What About The Workers? reveals that key Labour proposals to extend rights at work will mainly benefit women.

Stopping employers including Bank Holidays in the four-week minimum paid holiday required by European rules will benefit 1.4 million full-time workers and 1.5 million part-time of whom the majority will be women.

Women will also be the main beneficiaries of Labour’s proposed increases in the minimum wage. The planned 4.1% increase in 2005 will benefit 1.2 million workers and 1.3 million will gain from the 5.9% increase in 2006. Again a big majority will be women.

Increases in maternity leave and Labour’s promises to extend childcare will also benefit women at work.

Women would not benefit as much under Conservative proposals.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Many say there is little or no difference between the parties, but this analysis shows that millions of low-paid women workers stand to gain or lose from the outcome of this election.”

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