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Leaving The European Union Raises Deep Fear For Women’s Rights Says New Report

...... and that includes women's health issues in the workplace!

What has Human Rights and the rights of Women got to do with Health & Safety you may ask.

Well, the answer is Plenty!

The lack of equality in society and at work causes mental health and physical health issues and both are inherently issues of concern for the Health & Safety community in industry and in the Trade Unions.

With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from negative mental health, one of the causes, inequality at work and in society generally, must be addressed if the UK considers itself a modern, moral and civilised society.

Employment rights and funding for women’s services are areas of particular concern, as Tory after Tory, including Rees-Mogg MP continually propose crashing out of the EU without any deal, given them the power to slash ALL EU law at a whim and in preference to securing a UK/US Trade deal that will necessitate the removal of numerous EU safeguards on Food, Health & Safety and worker’s rights. These will impact disproportionately on the rights of Women.


The TUC’s 2016 report on Employment Rights In The EU concluded that, the overall contribution of EU employment rights to the UK workforce is substantial:

“The gains UK workers achieve as a result of our membership of the EU include improved access to paid annual holidays, improved health and safety provision, rights to unpaid parental leave, rights to time off work for urgent family reasons, equal treatment rights for part-time, fixed-term and agency workers, rights for outsourced workers, information and consultation and significant health and safety protection. Given these benefits we conclude that EU membership continues to deliver wide-ranging protections to UK workers. Furthermore, evidence also suggests that in the years ahead, remaining in the European Union may provide significant opportunities to extend employment protections for working people.”

However, and deliberately so, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU based on the current piece of legislation, The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill; will mean that future equality and human rights protections from the EU are not binding in UK law and that existing ones can and probably will be removed.

Last year (July 2018) a new report from the Equality And Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was published, looking at the state of women's rights in Great Britain in 2018.

It assesses the progress on women's rights since 2013 and makes recommendations to the UK and Welsh governments, in areas including:

  • enhancing the status of international human rights in domestic law
  • gender-based violence, harassment and abuse
  • participation in political and civic life
  • access to civil justice
  • human trafficking and modern slavery
  • detention and asylum
  • health, living standards and social security
  • work and education

The report has been submitted to the United Nations as part of the EHRC work on monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the international human rights treaty that focuses specifically on equality between women and men in all areas of life.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the international human rights treaty that focuses specifically on equality between women and men in all areas of life. It is often referred to as the ‘women’s bill of rights’. The UK ratified CEDAW in 1986.

So the problem for women and their rights, for equality and our society's morals?

Well, the EU Referendum in 2016 delivered less than a 4% majority in favour of leaving the EU in a situation where 2 million Britains living and working in the EU, together with 1.2 million EU nationals living and working in the UK; were excluded from having any right to vote which resulted in only 37% of the whole of the electorate actually voting to leave the EU!

Subsequently, following what we now know to have been a fraudulent and corrupted referendum, and only an advisory and non-constitutional one at that; The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was introduced in the UK Parliament on 13 July 2017.

The White Paper accompanying Bill states that ‘all the protections covered in the Equality Act 2006, the Equality Act 2010 … will continue to apply once the UK has left the EU’

However, this political commitment is not included in the Bill, and if passed in its current form the Bill will not retain the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, resulting in a reduction in rights and remedies in domestic law.

Source: TUC / Global Citizen


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