There are thousands of working mums in Dover and Deal and today in Women and Equalities questions I asked the Minister about some of the issues which affect them.
I asked: What assessment she has made of the effects on women workers of proposed reforms of parental leave.
Theresa May: Our proposals for a new system of parental leave will protect mothers' rights while giving families more choice and flexibility over how they can share their work and caring responsibilities. The proposals mean that working mothers will be better able to keep in touch with their employer, and they will also aid career progression for working mothers and help to tackle pregnancy discrimination.
Charlie Elphicke: One of the key problems faced by working mothers is the gender pay gap, which is a shocking thing. Will these reforms help to reduce the gender pay gap?
Theresa May: I thank my hon. Friend for raising that issue. I think that the reforms will reduce the gender pay gap, because the division of caring responsibilities between parents is one of the underlying issues. The current arrangements for parental leave reflect an expectation that the mother will stay at home and care for the children. Those arrangements urgently need reform. Although we will use a range of approaches to reduce the gender pay gap, this is an important element.
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