Pregnancy Rights in the Workplace
Research over the past few years undertaken by a number of organisations has highlighted flaws in current protections afforded to new and expectant mothers.
In response to this, the government has committed to strengthening the position of women in relation to pregnancy, maternity and redundancy. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) opened a consultation on this subject on 25 January 2019, which closes on 05 April 2019.
The current protections include, under the Equality Act 2010, a “protected period” (from the start of pregnancy until the woman returns work), during which women are protected from discrimination; and, under the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, before making a women on maternity leave redundant the employer must offer them a suitable alternative vacancy where one is available. The Government’s proposals are to extend the redundancy protection of new mothers from the date they notify their employer in writing of their pregnancy to six months after their return from maternity leave.
The consultation also seeks views on whether this protection should be extended to others taking similar leave, such as adoption leave and shared parental leave.
For more information you contact our Employment team.