[2020] Motion 27 Women will not be silenced during Covid-19

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 08

Congress notes that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on women’s lives and that this is likely to worsen. Black women, disabled women and women in poverty are disproportionately affected.

During lockdown, working-class women are more likely to have lost their job, or been furloughed. Women were already more likely to be in precarious and low-paid work, be at risk of redundancy and less able to access statutory sick pay. Women have been subject to pregnancy and maternity discrimination and have lost out on pay and promotion.

Women are shouldering the responsibility of unpaid caring and domestic roles.

Violence against women has increased significantly whilst specialist services and refuges face funding shortfalls.

Congress instructs the TUC to:

i. campaign for gender equality to be at the heart of government plans to rebuild the economy, including calling on government to:

  • support the Pregnancy and Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Bill
  • give an immediate cash injection to fund the childcare sector
  • ratify the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment (C190)
  • counter the growth of unsustainable insecure employment

ii. encourage affiliates to:

  • develop and share good practice on strategies to address gender inequalities at work
  • bargain for workplace domestic violence policies
  • ensure women workers are at the centre of the TUC’s social, economic and political work

iii. use HeartUnions week to focus on improving the working life of care workers and those with unpaid caring responsibilities

iv. invite the Women’s Budget Group and End Violence Against Women to address the General Council.

National Education Union


  • At the end of paragraph 3 add:
    “Childcare provision for low-paid care workers has been particularly problematic during the pandemic.”
  • At the end of sub-paragraph i), dash 2, add after “sector”:
    “and additional funding targeting provision supporting children from low-income households”
  • Insert new dash 3 under sub-paragraph i):
    “ – provide day-one rights for parental leave and for all staff to be able to work flexibly.”



  • At the end, add new sub-paragraphs vi. and vii:
    “vi. support the WHO call for governments to include in their response plan to the crisis the need for ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic violence services.

“vii. show solidarity with women in Turkey organising against violence and to resist the threat by President Erdogan to repeal ILO Convention (C190).”

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


  • At the end of paragraph 2 add:
    “Women have also suffered from the lack of flexible working that genuinely meets their work/life needs, rather than just suiting employers.”
  • In sub-paragraph i. add an additional dash point:
    “ – change the law so that flexible working is a right open to all workers from day one of employment, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis”

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


  • In sub-paragraph i. insert dash point 3:
    “ – support provision of childcare for those who do not work traditional working hours: many women, in particular key workers, work shift patterns and struggle with childcare arrangements.”