Corbyn launches bid to stay Labour leader with workplace discrimination vow


Jeremy Corbyn will launch his fight to hold on to the Labour leadership with a vow to tackle discrimination in the workplace by forcing firms to publish details of the pay and conditions of workers.

The Labour leader, who is facing a challenge from former shadow cabinet minister Owen Smith after a revolt by his MPs, will warn companies with more than 21 staff they could be fined unless they publish equality pay audits.

Mr Corbyn will use the leadership contest to set out how a Labour government will tackle the "five ills" of 21st century Britain - inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.

In a speech in London he will say a Labour administration would require firms to publish the new equality pay audits "detailing pay, grade and hours of every job ... alongside data on recognised equality characteristics".

"Because it is not only women who face workplace discrimination but disabled workers, the youngest and oldest workers, black and ethnic minority workers.

"Young workers are institutionally discriminated against, not entitled to the full minimum wage, not entitled to equal rates of housing benefit and so many are now saddled with huge student debts."

Vowing that "we are calling time on discrimination" he will commit to fund the Equality and Human Rights Commission to enforce the policy.

The organisation would be responsible for monitoring the policy, taking action to eradicate discrimination and fining employers which do not provide audits.

"If our economy is to thrive it needs to harness the talents of everyone," Mr Corbyn will say. "So this is about making our economy stronger, the workplace fairer, reducing the discrimination that holds people back."

In an echo of the five "giant evils" identified by William Beveridge in the 1940s, Mr Corbyn will say: "Today what is holding people back above all are inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.

"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."

Mr Corbyn's allies believe his victory chances have been boosted by a surge of new supporters able to vote in the leadership contest.

Labour received more than 180,000 applications to sign up as registered supporters, each paying £25 to get their vote - a total of more than £4.5 million for the party coffers.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said earlier it was "reasonable to assume" that the majority of the new registrations come from supporters of the veteran left-winger.

But in an indication of the scale of division within the Labour ranks, a total of 162 of the party's MPs - some 70% of its representation in the Commons - nominated Mr Smith for the leadership, along with half of Labour's MEPs.