New laws on pregnancy and maternity discrimination on the horizon?

Layoffs and dismissal concept. Being dropped from team. Print publication


This is something that all employers should have on their radar. The government has indicated that it will introduce legislation when Parliamentary time allows and it may announce some of the changes below as part of the Queen’s Speech in October. The key proposals outlined in the Government’s response are

  • the ‘redundancy protection period’ to apply from the point the employee informs the employer that she is pregnant, whether orally or in writing (currently employers are required to offer employees on maternity leave who face redundancy any suitable alternative vacancy that exists in priority over other employees also at risk of redundancy)
  • the redundancy protection period to be extended for six months once a new mother has returned to work
  • the same protections to be afforded to those taking adoption leave
  • increased redundancy protection for those returning from shared parental leave.

If these changes are implemented it will be necessary to update maternity, adoption and shared parental leave policies and, importantly, to ensure that managers involved in managing redundancy situations are fully aware of the extended protection.

Please contact David Smedley or Andrew Rayment for further information.