At the beginning of the month, the Women and Equalities Select Committee published its response to the government’s consultation on extending redundancy protection for women and new parents. The Committee supports extending the existing redundancy protection for 6 months after a new mother returns from maternity leave. Currently the protection ends when the mother has returned. The Committee also agreed that similar protection should be given to new parents on adoption or shared parental leave. They have also asked the government to do more to address the issue, including collating all relevant information in one accessible website and ensuring healthcare workers are equipped to direct women to relevant resources. They also suggested that larger companies should report on retention rates for women 12 months after maternity leave or making a flexible working request.
Read the detail here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2017/pregnancy-maternity-discrimination-2-statement-17-19/
The Chair of the Committee, Maria Miller MP, obviously didn’t feel the government was moving quickly enough. She has now introduced a private members’ bill on the issue into the House of Commons. The bill goes further than expected and proposes to ban redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave except in very limited circumstances. Whether the bill is agreed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords remains to be seen, but Ms Miller claims to have cross-party support. Watch this space!
If you have any concerns about your workplace, THSP’s Employment Law team work with companies to assist in managing these types of issues. Contact thsp.co.uk.