This week Harriet Harman, Angela Eagle, Seema Malhotra and Kate Green came together to set out that women are better off in the European Union. They warned that a lack of female voices in the debate to date risks key arguments going unheard.
If we left the European Union women would be worse off – rights safeguarded by the EU would be at risk.
Last week the Tory Employment Minister and Leave campaigner let the cat out of the bag saying that “if we could just halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation we could deliver a £4.3 billion boost to our economy and 60,000 new jobs.” Today leading Labour women challenged Leave campaigners to spell out exactly which hard won rights and protections they would seek to remove from women if the UK were to leave the European Union.
Labour also warned about the potential impact of Brexit on women’s jobs, rights and protections:
- On jobs, Labour analysis of the Treasury’s report on the immediate impact of a vote to leave shows that women’s unemployment could increase by up to 390,000
- That includes between 10,000 and 16,000 fewer women’s jobs in the manufacturing sector and between 8,000 and 13,000 fewer women’s jobs in financial services
Many of the rights and protections enjoyed by British women are safeguarded by our membership of the European Union. New analysis by Labour shows that the experience of the UK’s key competitors in the OECD outside the EU means we cannot take for granted the progress, rights and protections we enjoy through our membership of the EU:
- The gender pay gap for women living in EU countries within the OECD is almost five percentage points lower than for women living in non-EU countries within the OECD.
- Women living in EU countries within the OECD are entitled to an average of 22.5 weeks maternity leave. In contrast, women living in non-EU countries within the OECD are entitled to just under 14 weeks.
- When it comes to the total length of paid maternity and parental leave, parents living in OECD countries within the EU are on average entitled to more than double what parents living in OECD countries outside the EU: 68 weeks as opposed to almost 32 weeks.