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Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: Consultation on extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

The UK government have recently issued the above consultation.

The current law provides that where a woman is on maternity leave and is selected for redundancy she must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, where there is one available, over other redundant employees. This special protection does not, however, extend to before a woman goes on maternity leave or after a woman returns from maternity leave. Similar protection is also available to parents on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

It is proposed that the scope of the current protection of offering suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation should be extended to:

  1. pregnant women who have informed their employer that they are pregnant; and
  2. for a period of six-months following a woman’s return to work after maternity leave.

The government is also considering extending the additional protection in a redundancy situation to those on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

There have been a number of research studies in the past few years highlighting women having experienced discrimination after having children. Research carried out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into pregnancy and maternity issues at work revealed 77% of women reported negative experiences at work related to their pregnancy or maternity. 

The consultation will end on 5 April 2019.

To speak to a member of our Employment team call 0113 849 4000 or email employment@schofieldsweeney.co.uk 

About the Author

Rajveer Basra

Solicitor

Rajveer is a Solicitor who works in the Employment team.

She advises employers, senior executives,…

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