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MPs call for more help for working women

A cross-party group of MPs has called on the Government and employers across the country to do more to help women enter and re-enter the workforce.

At a Parliamentary reception attended by the Minister for Women and Equalities Caroline Dinenage, members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women and Work outlined the findings of their year-long inquiry. Their report, Women Returners, makes recommendations aimed at supporting women from when they take a career break to how to help them to return to the workplace. 

These proposals include: equalising statutory maternity pay and statutory shared parental leave pay so couples are not financially penalised if they choose to take shared parental leave; and re-examining how the self-employed are treated for maternity- and paternity-related benefits.

Speaking at the launch, Conservative MP and APPG Co-Chair Flick Drummond said: “It is unacceptable that taking time out usually means forfeiting future earnings.” 

Labour Co-Chair Jess Phillips MP added: “This report and its recommendations begin a conversation about getting women working.” 

Helen Walbey, FSB Diversity Chair, said women looking to return to work should consider entrepreneurship as an option.