The Women and Work Commission Recommendations

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2007 National Women's Conference
26 October 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the government has responded to the Women and Work Commission’s report, and has published an action plan “From the playground to the boardroom”, which is designed to break down barriers to women’s achievement.

Measures include:

1)the roll-out of new ‘Equality Reps’ across England;

2)a major new ‘Exemplar Employer Initiative’ – the government will work with employers to develop programmes such as helping women returning from work access quality part-time work, flexible working for women and setting up job share registers;

3)a new ‘Equality Check’ which will help companies spot any emerging problems with equal treatment of staff;

4)a national education standard in schools, to step up cultural change by making girls aware of non-traditional career opportunities and to ensure that all young people receive careers’ information, advice and guidance which is free from gender stereotyping;

5)a new half a million pound fund to support companies and organisations in increasing the number of senior and quality roles available part time.

Conference notes that these initiatives have long featured on the UNISON bargaining agenda, and is particularly pleased to note that the government now recognises the importance of work-life balance, careers and education advice for young women in achieving an end to occupational segregation, achieving equality in the workplace and making the best use of women’s skills, qualifications and experience in the workforce.

Conference recognises that the Women and Work Commission report also covers many areas which are the responsibility of the devolved institutions, such as the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. The Scottish Executive published its interim response to the Women and Work Commission on the 16 November outlining its actions to implement the Women and Work Commission report.

Conference therefore calls upon the National Women’s Committee to work with the National Executive Council, Service Groups and Labour Link to build partnerships with employers and other interested parties to take forward the Women and Work Commission recommendations. Recognising that the actions may be different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where the responsibility for delivery may sit with the devolved institutions.