Jeremy Corbyn is expected to promise that a Labour government would tackle discrimination by forcing all but the smallest companies to carry out compulsory pay audits of their staff, reports the Guardian.
Launching its campaign for re-election as party leader on Thursday, Labour is keen to show that Corbyn and his shadow cabinet, which has been hit hard by resignations since the EU referendum last month, can still produce radical policies.
David Cameron’s government introduced compulsory pay audits for companies with more than 250 staff in order to show whether or not they are discriminating against female employees.
Corbyn is expected to say a future Labour government would extend this policy to every company with at least 21 employees and to cover other potentially disadvantaged groups, including disabled people and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.
In a speech in London, as he formally launches his campaign for re-election, Corbyn will say he wants to update the social reformer William Beveridge’s “five evils” for the 21st century and plans to announce policies over the next five months to tackle each of them, the first being discrimination.
“The injustices that scar society today are not those of 1945: want, squalor, idleness, disease and ignorance. And they have changed since I first entered parliament in 1983. Today, what is holding people back above all are inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination,” he is expected to say.
“In my campaign I want to confront all five of those ills head on … Setting out not only how Labour will campaign against these injustices in opposition, but also spelling out some of the measures the next Labour government will take to overcome them and move decisively towards a society in which opportunity and prosperity is truly shared.”
He is expected to say that, decades on from the 1970 Equal Pay Act, “women are over-represented in the lowest-paying sectors: cleaning, catering and caring – vital sectors of our economy, doing valuable work, but not work that is fairly rewarded or equally respected”.
The campaign launch by Corbyn will be the first of a series of leadership events over the summer, taking place against the background of a bitter row within Labour for the ground rules for the race.