Access to Justice

I’m over the moon that employment tribunal fees will be scrapped. Calls to helplines about sexual harassment are increasing but the huge fee means the number reporting it has fallen. The fees were clearly a deterrent to people who had legitimate claims to make and it’s great that no one will be priced out of justice now.

This is an issue I’ve been campaigning on (you can read my last blog post on it here and see my petition – signed by 69,000 people! – here). Thanks so much to everyone who got involved.

This is really fantastic news and all credit to Unison for taking on and winning this fight! The next step is to ensure that time restrictions on claims are extended, so those who have missed out on justice can now make retrospective claims.

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BBC Radio Sheffield: women’s rights at work

I was on BBC Radio Sheffield today discussing women’s rights at work, ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow. You can listen to the discussion here: 

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Everywoman: a review

‘You will never be popular’, starts Jess Phillips – words spoken to her by Harriet Harman when she first began speaking out for women in parliament. Continue reading

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In politics as in life, sexual harassment is a consequence-free crime

Here’s an article I wrote for the New Statesman, published today.

Labour might as well copy Donald Trump’s winning ways and have its politicians “grab a woman’s pussy”.  So jokes Mark Steel.

He needn’t worry – British political parties are already on the case. Continue reading

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Use it or lose it?

The Institute for Fiscal Studies yesterday published a report showing that the 18 per cent gender pay gap steadily worsens once women have children. Alongside better quality part-time jobs, affordable childcare, a living wage and equal pay audits, greater uptake of shared parental leave from fathers would go a long way to closing the gap. Political parties should set out plans to reform shared parental leave, as part of a bold commitment to eradicating the gender pay gap once and for all. Continue reading

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Increasing access to HE – by acting before the age of three

At present, those that access university are, by and large, those that have had the opportunities in life. Official figures show that teenagers from the poorest families are half as likely to enter higher education as those who are more affluent. We still live in a country where the single biggest factor in determining your educational attainment is your mother’s educational attainment. Continue reading

Posted in education, equality, public services | 2 Comments

Too many men: The problem with all-male panels

This was co-written with Jacqui Smith.

Many of us heading to Labour party conference this year received our passes in the post last week. A brief flick through the fringe guide and it is quickly clear that, once again, there is an all-male panel problem.

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