THOUSANDS of women in Scotland will benefit from Labour’s plans to “transform the workplace,” the party has insisted.

Lesley Laird, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, claimed the package of reforms, unveiled today, represented a “step-change in how women are treated at work”.

Under the proposals Labour in government would:

*establish a new Workers’ Protection Agency with fines for organisations that failed to report their gender pay or take satisfactory measures to close the gender pay gap;

*increase Statutory Maternity Pay from nine to 12 months, allowing all working mothers or parents to spend a full year with their new born babies before going back to work – in Scotland, more than 20,000 women would have benefited from this policy in the last 12 months;

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

*require large employers to introduce a menopause workplace policy to break the stigma associated with the menopause;

*tackle sexual harassment in the workplace and

*enshrine in law the role of equalities representatives so they have time and support to protect workers from discrimination.

“Scotland’s growing gender pay cap is a damming illustration of UK and Scottish Government failure to deal with the systematic inequality that women experience in the Labour market and more generally,” declared Ms Laird.

She noted how next Thursday was “equal pay day,” when from that date to the end of the year women effectively do not get paid in comparison to men.

Ms Laird described this as an “horrific state of affairs” and stressed a Labour government would deliver a “workplace revolution” to bring about a step-change in how women are treated at work,” boosting pay, increasing flexibility and strengthening protections against harassment and discrimination.