Extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

The government has confirmed that it will press ahead with its plans to extend redundancy protections for pregnant women and new parents.

Following its earlier consultation in 2019, the government’s response confirms that it will:

  • ensure the redundancy protection period applies from the point the employee informs the employer that she is pregnant, whether orally or in writing
  • extend the redundancy protection period for six months once a new mother has returned to work (with the expectation that this period will start immediately once maternity leave is finished, notwithstanding any additional leave which may immediately follow)
  • extend redundancy protection into a period of return to work for those taking adoption leave following the same approach as the extended protection being provided for those returning from maternity leave – it will be for six months
  • extend redundancy protection into a period of return to work for those taking shared parental leave, and
  • set up a taskforce of employer and family representative groups to make recommendations on what improvements can be made to the information available to employers and families on pregnancy and maternity discrimination

As to the suggestion in the original consultation that tribunal time limits for pregnancy/maternity cases should be extended from 3 to 6 months, the government is looking at this under its plans to provide greater protections at work from harassment.