29 January 2019 #Employment
The government announced its plans on Friday to provide greater protection for parents returning to work and pregnant women from redundancy in new legislation.
Currently, if a woman on maternity leave is selected for redundancy, she is given priority over other redundant employees to be offered suitable alternative employment. However, this protection ends when the mother returns to work.
The new proposal plans to extend this protection for six months following a mother’s return from maternity leave and also protect those returning from adoption leave and shared parental leave as well. The protection could also apply to all women from the point at which they inform their employer that they are pregnant.
It is estimated that up to 54,000 women a year lose their jobs as a result of pregnancy or maternity discrimination with 37% of women feeling isolated to the point of resignation following a return from maternity leave.
This announcement is welcomed as it shows commitment from the government to fulfil their response to the Taylor Review in which they pledged to “review the legislation relating to protection against redundancy [for mother and new parents]”.
The consultation will end on 5 April 2019.