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Protection against redundancy for expectant and new parents

View profile for Julie Temple
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On 25 January 2019, the government launched a consultation on plans to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination. This is part of a series of measures being considered following the so-called Taylor Review.

The consultation proposes to require organisations to offer suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation to those who are pregnant, on maternity leave, or have recently returned from maternity leave (i.e. within a six month period). The consultation also invites views on a number of other points including whether this protection should be extended to others, for example, those who take shared parental leave.

The consultation also acknowledges that the current law is difficult for all concerned to follow and can result in wasted resources, so hopefully any change that may follow will bring with it much needed clarity.

This consultation is likely to elicit some strong views from both sides of the discussion. I, for one, have acted for both employee and employer in these situations. Employees feel targeted because of their pregnancy, whereas employers feel their ability to make tough decisions at tough times which are in the best interests of their business and for non-discriminatory reasons, are fettered.

The consultation closes on 5 April 2019. You can read the short consultation document and give your thoughts online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pregnancy-and-maternity-discrimination-extending-redundancy-protection-for-women-and-new-parents

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss a current redundancy situation involving pregnancy or maternity, whether you are an employee or employer, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217318 or julie.temple@birkettlong.co.uk.