• Employees with sick relatives sick will be able to take 12 months unpaid leave
  • Parents who lose a child will be given statuary two weeks bereavement leave
  • It comes after May accused Corbyn of ‘deserting the working class’

John Stevens Deputy Political Editor For The Daily Mail

Workers will be allowed to take a year’s sabbatical to care for sick relatives, Theresa May will announce today.

The Prime Minister will pledge ‘the greatest expansion of workers’ rights by any Tory government in history’ as she sets out a raft of new entitlements to woo Labour voters.

Employees with family members who fall sick – such as elderly parents – will be able to take up to 12 months’ unpaid leave to provide full-time care while their jobs are kept on hold.

Theresa May will pledge ‘the greatest expansion of workers’ rights by any Tory government in history’

Theresa May will pledge ‘the greatest expansion of workers’ rights by any Tory government in history’

Theresa May will pledge ‘the greatest expansion of workers’ rights by any Tory government in history’

Parents who suffer the tragedy of losing a child will get a statutory two weeks of bereavement leave, and employees will be allowed to request time off to go on training courses as part of a bid to boost skills and productivity. There will also be a major crackdown on corporate governance, with listed companies forced to have worker representation on their boards.

New rules will stop ‘irresponsible bosses’ making millions while company pension schemes go bankrupt. Ministers also want to close loopholes that allow so-called ‘gig economy’ firms to exploit workers by claiming they are self-employed.

Mrs May’s pitch, which aims to appeal to traditional Labour supporters, comes just days after she accused Jeremy Corbyn of ‘deserting the working class’.

The Prime Minister hopes to pick up seats deep into Labour’s northern heartlands that have not been won by the Tories for decades.

In a bid to ease the concerns of those worried about Brexit, Mrs May will guarantee that all workers’ rights currently offered under EU law will be maintained.

And she will go further, pledging to put building on these entitlements at the centre of the Tory manifesto that will be unveiled later this week.

The Prime Minister hopes to pick up seats deep into Labour’s northern heartlands

The Prime Minister hopes to pick up seats deep into Labour’s northern heartlands

The Prime Minister hopes to pick up seats deep into Labour’s northern heartlands

During a visit to a training centre in the South East this morning, the Prime Minister will say: ‘I said I would use Brexit to extend the protections and rights that workers enjoy, and our manifesto will deliver exactly that. Our plans, backed up with strong and stable leadership, will be the greatest expansion in workers’ rights by any Conservative Government in history.’

She will add: ‘By working with business, reducing taxes and dealing with the deficit we have delivered steady improvements to the economic prospects of working people. Now is the time to lock in that economic growth and ensure the proceeds are spread to everyone in our country.

‘There is only one leader at this election who will put rights and opportunities for ordinary working families first.

‘The choice next month is clear: economic stability and a better deal for workers under my Conservative team, or chaos under Jeremy Corbyn, whose nonsensical policies would trash the economy and destroy jobs.’ Mrs May will offer workers the right to take up to a year off to look after sick relatives while keeping their jobs, in the same way as new mothers taking maternity leave.

The move comes just days after Mrs May accused Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) of ‘deserting the working class'

The move comes just days after Mrs May accused Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) of ‘deserting the working class'

The move comes just days after Mrs May accused Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) of ‘deserting the working class’

Companies will also be obliged by law to give parents time off following the loss of a child. At the moment, many firms provide informal leave, but ministers will give employees a legal right to bereavement leave – expected to be two weeks. Workers who want to improve their skills will be given the right to ask for time off to go on courses.

Firms will not be obliged to pay for the training or lost wages, but must consider all requests. Ministers hope the move will help tackle the so-called productivity gap.

Mrs May will repeat a vow made earlier in the election campaign to bring in tough new laws to prevent a repeat of the Sir Philip Green BHS pension scandal if she wins. The manifesto will include plans to stop ‘irresponsible bosses’ making millions while company pension schemes go bankrupt.

The move, dubbed the ‘anti-Philip Green charter’, follows repeated calls to protect pensioners from ruthless bosses.

A poll at the weekend showed that Mrs May is on course for a greater election triumph than even Margaret Thatcher at her peak due to a dramatic collapse in Labour support in the North of England.

The survey of 40,000 voters suggested a Tory majority as large as 172 seats.

Tory policies at a glance 

Keeping workers’ rights guaranteed by EU law

As the Prime Minister has set out in our Article 50 Letter to Brussels: ‘We will ensure that workers’ rights are fully protected and maintained. Indeed, under my leadership, not only will the Government protect the rights of workers, we will build on them.’

Minimum wage increase

National Living Wage will rise in line with median incomes for the whole of the next Parliament.

Rights for workers in the ‘gig’ economy

Following a review of employment practices, new rights for employees of firms such as Uber and Deliveroo could include holiday and sick pay.

Workers on firms’ boards

Listed companies will be told to create worker advisory panels and designate an existing non-executive director as the employee representative or directly appoint a worker representative to the board.

The right to quiz bosses

Employees will get similar rights as shareholders to find about their company’s future, including ability to request key information about takeovers and asset disposals.

Leave for training

Statutory right to request time off to go on courses that improve skills. Companies would be obliged to consider applications, but would not be obliged to pay for training or lost wages and would not be forced to accept the request.

One-year care sabbaticals

Workers will be allowed to take between 13 and 52 weeks’ unpaid leave to look after a relative full-time while retaining their rights to return to their job.

Protecting pension pots from rogue bosses

New powers will be given to The Pensions Regulator to inspect takeover bids to check the potential impact on the sustainability of a pension fund.

Action on mental health

The Equalities Act will be updated so that people cannot be discriminated against if they have disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar that can mean they need to take time off.

Child bereavement leave

Parents will be given the legal right to two weeks off if they suffer the tragedy of losing a child. At the moment many companies provide informal leave but it is not statutory.

‘Returnships’ for staff coming back to work

Companies and public sector organisations will be encouraged to offer work experience schemes to help older people rejoin the labour market after taking breaks for parenthood or to care for elderly relatives.

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