29 January 2009
Minister warns against discriminating against women in redundancies
A government minister has issued a warning concerning the practice of unfairly discriminating against female employees when selecting targets for redundancies.
Commenting on the issue, women's minister Harriet Harman said that such action is illegal under employment laws.
She said: "There is a major fear about women being targeted by their employers during the downturn. This is unlawful."
Her comments came after figures were published by the Equality Commission suggesting that the number of women in work fell by 53,000 during the last quarter.
This compared with a fall of 36,000 for men.
In response to the statistics, Ms Harman is leading a campaign to shield female employees from unfair job losses.
Meanwhile, research conducted by Age Concern recently suggested that half of workers aged 55 and over in the UK are concerned that they are more at risk of losing their jobs than other employees during the economic downturn.