News

Women AMs highlight what the EU has done for women

June 21, 2016 at 4:16 PM

21 women Assembly Members from four parties across political spectrum gathered on the steps of the Senedd today (June 21) to highlight what the EU has done for women. The group was also joined by MP Nia Griffiths for the event outside the Senedd today (June 21).

The AMs say the EU has been key to helping promote equality and women’s rights and so a vote to remain is vital in ensuring lasting protection.

Julie Morgan, AM for Cardiff North, who organised the event together with new Newport West AM Jayne Bryant, said: “I think it’s so important that we recognise that some of the things that help women remain part of the workforce – especially after they’ve had a family – are thanks to the EU.

“Things like time off for ante-natal appointments are the right to parental leave are so important in enabling women to keep contributing to the workforce and bringing their talents to bear in our economy. Of course we also know that many women choose to work part-time to balance family commitments and work – and equal rights for part-time workers have benefitted women enormously too.”

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What has the EU done for women? – 7 reasons to Vote Remain

 

1. Equal pay for women: The UK Equal Pay Act predates our EU membership. But it did not cover equal pay for work of equal value and it was only EU law which led to many landmark victories - and pay rises - for women workers.

2. Paid Holidays: The EU working time directive gave the right to paid holiday for the first time to 2 million workers - many of them part-time women workers - and 6 million workers in total gained new or enhanced rights to paid leave from 1998.

3. Maternity rights: EU law gave new rights to pregnant women, including the right to paid time off for antenatal appointments and new protection rights against pregnancy discrimination.

4. Parental leave: EU law means that any parent with a child under 5 (now extended to under 18 by UK law) has the right to a minimum of 18 weeks unpaid parental leave and to time off for urgent family reasons.

5. Returning to work: A job of the same status and pay must be kept open for a woman on maternity leave. Becoming pregnant no longer means losing your job!

6. Better rights for atypical workers: The EU adopted equal treatment laws for part-.time, fixed-term and agency workers benefiting around 400,000 employees in the UK, 300,000 of whom were women.

7. Entitlement to pensions: Pension poverty is a real problem for older women. Many part-time workers - mainly women - faced discrimination, and were excluded from pension schemes, but EU law now outlaws such discrimination.