Rachel Reeves calls for childcare reform to support female workers

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has called for childcare reform to support women in the workplace.

Speaking at a Labour business networking event on Monday evening, Reeves said she wants to close the gender pay gap once and for all if she becomes the UK’s first female Chancellor after the General Election.

Addressing 100 business leaders from the science, tech, and energy sectors she said she wanted to “ensure we have a proper system of childcare in our country so that all women who want to go out to work and balance family and work contributions can do so.”

The Labour business event was designed to further extend the party’s connections with entrepreneurs and was hosted at a restaurant in the city of London. Last year, the Labour Party revealed a plan to support small businesses, including proposals to revitalise high streets and remove barriers to exports. Attendees included executives from publishing company Chamber UK and global comms consultancy Centropy PR.

Attendee Nick Baxter, CEO of global recruitment specialist The IN Group said: “The reality is that many fast-growing companies are still struggling with the skills gap, a problem which ultimately damages growth and slows innovation. If we want to build a truly dynamic digital economy, businesses need access to the latest AI and tech talent, allowing ambitious companies to reach their full potential.”

Meanwhile Tristan Wilkinson, public sector lead at AND Digital commented, “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, yet so many are struggling to keep up with the pace of digital transformation. Unlocking sustained economic growth can only be delivered if companies are given the support and specialist skills they need to embrace digital initiatives for the long term.”

Khalid Talukder, co-founder, DKK Partners added: “Britain is home to some of the fastest growing businesses on the planet, not to mention our world class financial services industry. The next government needs to recognise this fact and work with entrepreneurs to fuel economic growth, helping these firms expand both at home and overseas.”