2020 is the 50th Anniversary of the introduction of The Equal Pay ActConference celebrates the successes of UNISON in using the legislation to achieve equal pay for large numbers of its low paid women members, in particular those in local government. Conference welcomes that in 2017 the Government introduced compulsory gender pay gap reporting for […]

Workplace support for mothers with premature or sick babies

The birth of a child is usually a very special time, but unfortunately, it can be testing if the baby is born prematurely or with complex health needs. In the UK, roughly 60,000 babies are born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or sick every year. When a baby is born prematurely or is […]

Re-Inspiring Women

Women in the trade union movement have always played a significant role in social movements and social change. We can be proud of the role that Trade Union women played in achieving the Scottish Parliament and the 50/50 campaign amongst others. In the same way, the women of the Trade Union movement, played a major […]

Bring Parity to Shared Parental Leave

This conference welcomes the introduction of Shared Parental Leave in 2015, allowing both parents to have some flexibility in the care and bonding with their child in the first crucial months after birth. UNISON shared the view of many women�s rights organisations at the time, that in order to inject speed into achieving women�s equality, […]

Breastfeeding and lactation facilities in the workplace

NHS advice is that breastfeeding has long-term benefits for babies and mothers, lasting right into adulthood. Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect. The longer a baby is breastfed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits. Breastfeeding reduces a baby’s risk of:;infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result […]

Impact of Domestic Abuse on Workers

Conference notes that the impact of domestic abuse is far ranging and will and does inevitably affect workers, colleagues, families and friends.It is important that domestic abuse isn�t ignored or misunderstood within the workplace. We welcome the fact that UNISON recognises that domestic abuse is a trade union issue; has developed information and guidance and […]


From late 2008, the UK Government set out a programme of austerity that has continued for over 10 years. Cuts in public spending have been shown to have particular impact on certain groups in society. In 2011, 270,000 public sector jobs were cut as austerity measures started to bite. Research from the Runnymede Trust and […]


Women in Northern Ireland are greatly under-represented in public and political life. This was clearly evident in the lead up to the Brexit referendum and remains a worrying issue in the current Brexit negotiations. Under-representation in political negotiations and decision-making, alongside several other areas lacking in gender parity such as access to education, training, work, […]

Gender Pay Gap

Conference notes that a quarter of companies and public sector bodies still have a pay gap of more than 20% in favour of men.Almost 8 in 10 companies still pay male employees more. The 9,961 companies that filed their figures by the 4 April 2019, 7,755 paid male employees more.The regulations are not tough enough; […]

Time off for dependants (TOFD) and special leave � a woman’s burden

From birth society has always set the role of women at home and in the workplace. While this has been challenged and continues to be, there is still a long way to go. Society still sees women as the main care giver and this may be why some types of leave that is predominately utilised […]

Women and climate change

Climate change has a greater impact on those sections of the population, in all countries, that are most reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods and/or who have the least capacity to respond to natural hazards, such as droughts, landslides, floods and hurricanes. Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of […]

Ending the Hostile Environment for Pregnant Women

In the UK, everybody has a right to free medical treatment in instances of accident and emergency, however, the legislation around who can receive non-emergency medical treatment and whether, and when, payment is required depends on two things:;The patient�s immigration status,;The urgency of the treatment requiredFor UK citizens ordinarily resident in the UK and for […]

Menopause – A workplace issue

Roughly half of UK workers are women, all of whom will experience the menopausein some form. The office of National Statistics Information informs us that there are currently 3.5 million women workers over the age of 50 in the UK which is almost half (45%) of the over 50 workforce. UNISON is a union of […]


50 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in the UK, there is no sector in the economy where women are paid the same as men. In 2019 the median pay gap was a shocking 11.9 per cent. In the public sector the pay gap is a shocking 16.7 per cent, an increase […]

Employer with Heart Charter

Conference notes that:Women who give birth prematurely, currently have the same amount of maternity leave as a woman whose pregnancy goes full term. A woman who has a premature baby would have to start their 12 month maternity leave from the day of the birth, regardless of whether they are already on maternity leave.Babies born […]