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Usdaw puts the spotlight on speaking up for parents and carers

Date: 18 May 2022 Today is Usdaw’s Supporting Parents and Carers Spotlight Day, when the union highlights the everyday work of Usdaw reps and officials to support members at work and negotiate better workplace rights for parents and carers.
Across the UK reps and activists have organised campaign events in their workplace to engage members and potential members in the work of the union, encouraging working parents, carers and grandparents to complete Usdaw’s survey: https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Supporting-Parents-Carers/A-Better-Deal-for-Dads-Survey
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “This year’s Spotlight Day is all about celebrating the amazing work being done by Usdaw reps and officials to win a better deal for working parents and carers. Day in, day out reps are supporting and representing members who need the help of their union.
“Very often this is about finding hours of work that fit around family life, or needing time off when someone in the family is ill. Without the help of their rep many more members would struggle to get the right support at work. This support was particularly important over the pandemic when so many parents and carers needed time off work to cope with school closures or to be able to care for relatives who were isolating at home.
“We aren’t just there for when things go wrong, we are also working to improve the rights that working parents and carers rely on and we really are making a difference. Statutory Maternity Pay and Paternity Pay are way too low, with nine out of ten members taking leave having to cut it short because they run out of money. That’s why Usdaw has made improving maternity and paternity pay such a high priority.
“If you are a parent or carer, being in Usdaw makes so much sense. Union members have better pay and conditions and safer workplaces than workers in non-unionised businesses. Usdaw has made a big difference to members by negotiating improvements to statutory rights and payments, but we also need the Government to do much more to help working parents and carers.”
Some examples of what Usdaw reps and officials have negotiated for the benefit of members with caring and parental responsibilities:
  • Maternity pay in the big four retailers is now paid well above the statutory rate.
  • Paternity pay at 100% and extended beyond two weeks in many agreements.
  • Adoption Leave paid above statutory rate by many employers.
  • Additional support for foster carers and adoptive parents.
  • Paid time off for fertility treatments.
  • New domestic violence agreements across five national companies giving our members access to support at work when they need it.
  • The right for parents and carers to have their caring commitments taken into account when hours of work are being changed.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers