03 Dec New Bill Aims To Enhance Employment Protection For Pregnant Women and New Mothers
A new bill working its way through parliament may well have an impact on those of you who become pregnant and those who will be new mothers.
Although in the early stages, if it does become law, it will considerably enhance your employment protection if you fall into these categories.
Essentially, The Bill aims to provide pregnant women and new mothers with further legal protections against discrimination in the workplace in relation to redundancy.
Currently, pregnancy and maternity are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. Under this Act a pregnant woman, or a woman on maternity leave should not be treated unfavourably or victimised due to her pregnancy or maternity leave from the beginning of pregnancy to returning to work.
Pregnant women or women on maternity leave are also protected from unfair dismissal on this basis under the Employment Rights Act 1996, with dismissal for pregnancy or maternity automatically being unfair.
Under the new bill, legally, a woman could not be made redundant from the start of pregnancy until 6 months after returning to work (unless the employer is closing the business or ceasing to work in that area). Women who experience a miscarriage would also be protected for 6 months after their pregnancy ends, or after the end of any entitled leave.
The bill had its first reading in the House of Commons in July 2020. Currently, a second reading is yet to be confirmed in the House of Commons.
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