Lessons Learned: Where Women Stand at the Start of 2021
Date Posted: Tuesday 26th January 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for many women in terms of health, employment and unpaid work, resulting in increased levels of poverty, debt and mental health deterioration. Violence and financial abuse against women and girls also continues to intensify during the local and national lockdowns. This report set out the lessons of 2020 and the recommendations that policy makers must consider if they are committed to improving their response to the pandemic and the impact it has had on the most vulnerable groups.
Mandatory minimum pay at real living wage rates should be established for social care workers, and funding increased to match that commitment, to reduce turnover, job insecurity and improve the quality of care and care jobs.
All key workers must have access to adequate PPE and liveable Statutory Sick Pay. This will require immediate funding injections for the social care and childcare sectors to meet the additional costs and avoid bankruptcy.
Larger companies should be mandated to report the number of people they make redundant by protected characteristics including sex and race, to ensure accountability against bias or discrimination while gender pay gap reporting is suspended.
Both parents must have the right to request furlough, not just the right to be furloughed while children are at home. This should explicitly include public sector workers who cannot work due to home-schooling and childcare responsibilities.
A support package for self-employed parents who are unable to work whilst schools are closed.
Efforts to control Covid-19 have increased costs for households with children. Child Benefit should be increased to £50 per child and the benefit cap and the two-child limit should be abolished to prevent child poverty being exacerbated.