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Mothers will be given maternity pay for a full year after the birth of their children and all employees will have a right to work flexibly as part of a Labour manifesto pledge to improve life for parents.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s shadow women and equalities secretary, said she wanted to see a “step change in how women are treated at work”, which would be reflected in the party’s manifesto when it is published in a few weeks’ time.

She said Labour would stick with its 2017 pledge to increase statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months, allowing mothers or partners sharing parental leave to spend a full year between them with their newborn babies.

The party has also promised to give workers the right to choose working hours that suit them through a “presumption in favour of flexible work” – putting the onus on employers to explain why if they could not offer that.

Labour has already pledged to create a workers’ protection agency with powers to fine organisations that fail to report their gender pay, publish action plans to reduce pay gaps or take satisfactory measures to close the pay gap. Read more

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