Proposal to extend redundancy protection for women and new parents

The government has published a response to its consultation on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents returning from maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave

Currently, before making a woman on maternity leave redundant, an employer must offer her a suitable alternative vacancy where one is available. Similar protection exists for those on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

On 22 July 2019, the government announced its intention to bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows to expand this protection. The period of redundancy protection will begin at the point a woman notifies her employer of her pregnancy and will last until six months after the end of the maternity leave. For those on adoption leave, the period will be extended to six months after the end of adoption leave.

The government will consult further on how to structure a period of extended redundancy protection for those returning from shared parental leave. As some periods of shared parental leave may only be for a few weeks, the government considers that it would be disproportionate for someone in those circumstances to benefit from redundancy protection for six months.

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