Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

April 05, 2007 09:36 ET

News from Jon Cruddas MP

Deputy leader contender calls for better deal for working women

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 5, 2007) - Prospective Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Jon Cruddas, MP has welcomed the new gender equality duty which comes into force tomorrow (Friday 6th April) but says it must be backed by strong enforcement powers and extended beyond the public sector.

The new law aims to address the discrimination faced by women in public bodies, requiring them to eliminate sex discrimination and harassment and proactively promote gender equality.

However, following reports this week that many public bodies have failed to comply with disability equality measures already introduced, Jon Cruddas is calling for the new law to be underpinned with effective enforcement measures. He also wants the law extended to the private and voluntary sectors whose record on equality issues, including pay, is worse than the public sector.

If extended, he said the measures could be a powerful way of tackling the pay gap that persists between men and women and addressing the poverty and low pay that blights so many families.

Jon Cruddas, Deputy Leadership candidate and MP for Dagenham, said: "More than thirty years after the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Act, working women continue to be concentrated in the lowest paid sectors and occupations and their pay lags a shameful 18% behind their male counterparts.

"This duty will help women employees in terms of their treatment and opportunities at work and will also force public bodies to ensure equal access for men and women to their services.

"I only hope it supported by strict enforcement and its' measures are quickly extended to the worst offenders - the private and voluntary sectors so that women's aspirations, talents and skills can be better accessed and rewarded."

- More-

Jon is also campaigning for better skills training for women, affordable childcare and mandatory pay audits for companies to have to make transparent their pay structures and salaries.


1. Jon Cruddas is Labour MP for Dagenham in east London. He has announced that he will be a candidate for Labour deputy leadership. For more information on his campaign visit
2. Jon Cruddas has received the support of 100 Labour grassroots activists from every area of the country. They include councillors, local party secretaries and trade union officials. He was overwhelmingly endorsed by 53 Compass members in March. He has also received the support of Amicus General Secretary Derek Simpson and T&G leader Tony Woodley.

Contact Information

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    Catherine Bithell
    020 7 793 2589 or 07958 473 224