2 July 2014, 7-9pm | Grimmond Room, Portculis House, London SW1A 2LW
Sharon Hodgson MP Shadow minister for women and equalities
Sarah Russell Employment sollicitor, Slater & Gordon
Abigail Wood Public affairs manager, National Childcare Trust
The cost of austerity is affecting all of us. In particular, the drive to cap benefits is disproportionately affecting women and children the most. Nothing symbolises this more than the cuts to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).
Along with other benefits, annual increases are capped at 1% so SMP is losing value every year. More worryingly, SMP is very low – in fact, £100 less per week than the minimum wage, and some women are not eligible for it. Consequently, women are going back to work earlier than they would like simply because they cannot afford not to. Coupled with high childcare costs, women and families are left in very difficult circumstances.
This Fabian Women’s Network event will explore the challenges created by the cuts to SMP and possible ways forward.