Increasing Protection For New Parents

Did you know that the government are consulting on “extending redundancy protection for women and new parents” you can access the consultation here

The consultation has been developed in response to concerns from research conducted in 2016 that found that women in the UK are being treated unfairly and discriminated against after having children and are being forced out of the workplace.

As a mother of three with a background of working in Human Resources and the field of Equality and Diversity you may be surprised to hear that when I telephoned my manager to inform them that I was pregnant and expecting my third child I was initially told “I don’t know if we can keep your job open for you” Even knowing my full employment rights and being a strong advocate for equality I can’t describe how vulnerable and disempowered I felt at that point in time, so sadly yes it still happens !

If the changes proposed come in to effect it means that for the first six months after returning from maternity leave women will be given the same level of protection as women on maternity leave have currently in a redundancy situation.  At the moment a woman whose role becomes redundant during maternity leave period is entitled to be offered (without going through a competitive selection process) any suitable alternative available role (if one is available) a failure to comply with this obligation would mean that if the women was dismissed it would be automatically unfair and potentially sex discrimination.  

The government are also consulting on whether to extend this additional protection to people returning to work from other forms of family friendly leave eg adoption, shared parental and unpaid parental leave.

I consider any additional protection that can be introduced to protect pregnant and new mothers is a positive move.  Will this be enough to stamp out the discrimination that women still experience during pregnancy and maternity? .

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