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4 February 2019 | Comment | Article by Eleanor Bamber

Government proposes enhanced protections for new parents going back to work

A new government consultation has been launched to seek responses on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents.

The government consultation, which launched on 25 January 2019, proposes that the legal protection against redundancy for mothers on maternity leave should be extended.

The current protections are contained in Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 and mean that before making an employee on maternity leave redundant, employers have an obligation to offer them (not just invite them to apply for) a suitable alternative vacancy, where one is available with the employer or an associated employer. This gives the woman priority over other employees who are also at risk of redundancy.

The consultation seeks views as to whether these protections ought to continue for up to 6 months after the new mother returns to work and also potentially apply to those who are pregnant. This would mean that pregnant women and new mothers who had recently returned to work would have the same protection as that enjoyed by those on maternity leave.

The consultation also considers the impact of extending the redundancy protections to other groups who are taking extended periods of leave for similar purposes i.e. those on adoption, shared parental leave and longer periods of parental leave.

Views are sought from the government on these proposals, including how best to achieve them. Responses will need to be submitted by 5 April 2019.

If you would like any further information or advice on how this decision may affect you, please contact our employment team on 02922 675610.

Author bio

Eleanor Bamber

Senior Associate

Throughout her career as an employment law specialist, Eleanor has regularly advised private clients and numerous public sector bodies on a wide range of issues, including conducting large scale redundancies and reorganisations and dealing with the implications of TUPE.

Eleanor also has significant experience in defending multiple equal pay cases in the public sector as well as successfully defending numerous claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by individual employees in the private sector. Eleanor deals with employment tribunal litigation, settlement agreements, pre-termination negotiations, disciplinary and grievance issues and performance and absence management issues.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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