Press release:

CMI Response to Labour Party Proposal to Transform the Workplace for Women

Friday 08 November 2019

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI), responding to the proposals announced by the Labour Party aiming to ‘transform the workplace for women”, makes the following observations and comments:

Action plans to reduce pay gaps or take satisfactory measures to close the pay gap:

  • CMI has long called for gender pay gap reporting requirements to be extended to medium sized businesses, and for all organisations to be required to publish action plans for closing their pay gaps, setting out targets and actions to meet them. Pay reporting is crucial - if you don’t measure a problem you can’t solve it.

Creation of a new Workers’ Protection Agency working in partnership with HMRC with powers to fine organisations that fail to report their gender pay:

  • We need transparency with teeth. The publication of pay gap data and Action Plans is a necessary first step, but organisations need to be held to account for the actions they take to close the gender pay gap. Government sanctions have a role to play but ultimately those businesses who fail to act will increasingly struggle to attract and retain the best talent. They will also miss out on the diversity dividend which is proven to boost business results. This new body would need to work closely with managers to implement light-touch measures which carry the support of the workplace.

Increase Statutory Maternity Pay from 9 to 12 months, allowing all working mothers or parents to spend a full year with their new born babies before going back to work;

  • Increasing statutory maternity pay will benefit both mothers and fathers and help shift the dial on creating a more inclusive workplace culture. The best businesses already know this, which is why many are already going above and beyond the statutory minimum requirements. More should join them.

Give all workers the right to choose working hours that suit them from day one of the job;

  • We know that flexible working, when implemented well, can help close the gender pay gap by allowing workers with caring responsibilities to be as productive as they want to be. But we also know that there is a huge gap between policy and practice. CMI research shows that the existing right to request flexible working is not well understood, with only 1 in 4 managers fully understanding the legislation. The truth is that regulation can only take us so far in terms of shifting behaviours and attitudes. We also need real leadership and culture change if we are to make flexible working a reality for all employees. It’s vital that flexible working carries no stigma and is visibly practised at all levels in an organisation by both men and women.

Ann Francke the CEO of CMI said:

As ‘work’ becomes more of a task than a place, we must ensure that we create environments that works for everyone. It is good to see that all political parties are seriously considering employment reforms in this election campaign and recognising the power of these sorts of policies. It’s putting the focus rightly on producing a fairer deal and better work for employees.

We hope whoever forms the next Government will listen closely to the voice of managers across the UK because we know that better management and leadership at every level is the number one driver of productivity. Creating a better working environment is in everyone’s interest. A balanced workforce leads to a more productive workforce;ultimately it will boost the British economy.

CMI will continue to highlight how flexible working can tackle the gender pay gap, by engaging returners to work and reducing barriers for those with caring responsibilities.

- Ends -

Media contact:

John Kaponi Head of Media Relations, CMI

Notes to editors

Chartered Management Institute

  1. The Chartered Management Institute is the chartered professional body for management and leadership, counting more than 132,000 managers and leaders in its membership community
  2. There are 6,856 Chartered Managers
  3. Backed by a unique Royal Charter, CMI is the only organisation able to award Chartered Manager status - the ultimate management accolade, which is proven to boost individuals’ career prospects, management capability and impact in the workplace.