New Parents and Expectant Mothers to receive further redundancy protection
Following on from consultation in January this year, the Government are proposing that redundancy protection for pregnant women and new mothers will be extended up to 6 months from the date they return to work. The same protection will also be given to those on adoption leave or shared parental leave. This is following the government examining the continued discrimination experienced by expectant and new mothers.
Currently, pregnancy and maternity discrimination is unlawful under the Equality Act and those on maternity leave have special protection in a redundancy situation.
Research commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), found that one in nine women said they had been dismissed or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child, or were treated so badly they felt forced out of their job.
It estimated that up to 54,000 women a year felt they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination.
MP, Kelly Tolhurst, business minister, said: “It is unacceptable that new parents continue to feel they are treated unfairly, and the government is determined to put an end to this. The reforms announced today will better protect new parents, giving them the peace of mind to manage the return to work while also caring for a new child.”
Within the consultation, the Government have additionally committed to ensuring that pregnant women are protected from the moment they inform their employer their pregnant. This is either verbally or in writing.
No time frames have been provided; however, this is the just beginning as the Government have also announced a new task force proposing further changes to flexible working and how employers can ensure new parents are able to stay in work. So watch this space…