Unions have improved women’s rights to equal pay, maternity provisions, and equality at work. Whilst there are many successes, there is sadly still much to be done.
Take the example of a recent legal case taken by Prospect. A successful high flying woman member brought a grievance following repeated harassment by her manager. Her grievance was largely upheld, but the employer decided to move her to a new role with a significant detrimental impact on her career and pay. Prospect supported a claim to the employment tribunal. Following two initial hearings the case was successfully settled shortly before the final twelve day hearing was due to start.
More than 40 years after the introduction of equal pay law, the gender pay gap in the UK is still close to 20%. Unions are continuing the fight for equal pay through collective bargaining and litigation. Just this week Prospect presented a tribunal claim for 77 women members at the Met Office, who are seeking equal pay with more highly paid male colleagues.
The Prospect at Work campaign seeks to defend employment rights and show the real difference that unions make. Part of the campaign is highlighting the fantastic work of our 'workers’ rights advocates'. Several of our reps profiled in this series are prioritising equality, for example:
- Linda Ford, at the James Hutton Institute, has pressed her employer to do equality impact assessments.
- Mavis Amadi, from Babcock, was involved in the 'Prospect Pioneers' project to highlight the role of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
- Sarah Hughes, in Scottish Government branch, explains how being involved in Prospect has helped her influence her employer to tackle difficulties for women in STEM and implement best practice.
These are just three examples of the work done by our reps to promote equality and improve the position for women at work.
Marion Scovell, head of Prospect Legal, said: "On this International Women's Day let’s all plan to do something to bring equality at work one step closer, whether it is challenging a sexist attitude in the workplace or encouraging your employer to do a full equal pay audit."
As part of the Prospect at Work campaign we have produced a women's equality sign for you to use to promote equality at work, ‘equal pay, access to justice, and equality at work – brought to you by your union’. You can display this in your workplace or on twitter, facebook & other social media with a 'WRelfie' (workers' rights selfie) using the hashtags #ProspectAtWork and #IWD2016.