Pregnant Women And New Parents Will Get More Job Protection Under New Legislation
Pregnant women and new mothers could receive up to two years of legal protection against redundancy under new government plans.
Under UK law, it's currently illegal to fire or a make pregnant woman redundant because of their pregnancy without offering her an alternative role within the company. It's also illegal for employers to do so when the new mother is on maternity leave or during the first two weeks she's back in work.
But now the government will be extending the parental protections to six months from the day a new mother returns to work.
The new policy will also cover parents returning from adoption or shared parental leave.
It has been introduced in response to shocking research that found new parents, and mums in particular, continue to face unfair discrimination.
The study also revealed that one in nine women said they had been fired or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child.
The same research estimates that 54,000 women a year could be losing their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity.
The announcement follows a number of measures aimed to support working parents, as part of the government's Good Work Plan.
They include proposals for new leave entitlements for parents of premature and ill babies as well as proposed new measures to make sure large companies are more transparent on their policies around parental leave.
Despite the promising announcement, the policies won't come into force until there's time to clear them in Parliament, and with Brexit at the forefront of incoming PM Boris Johnson's mind there's no defutime frame on when they'll be passed.
Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said of the announcement: "There is no place for discrimination against new parents in the modern workplace.
"It is unacceptable that new parents continue to feel they are treated unfairly and the government is determined to put an end to this.
"The reforms announced today will better protect new parents, giving them the peace of mind to manage the return to work while also caring for a new child."
Baby steps, eh?
Featured Image Credit: PA