MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

North Swindon MP Welcomes Government Plans To Protect Pregnant Women & New Parents From Discrimination

 


North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed a Government consultation on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents – following the announcement of the largest upgrade to worker rights in a generation.

The Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy aims to ensure that everyone, no matter what their background, can enter into the labour market and progress at work. Part of the strategy is the “Good Work Plan”, which sets out the Government’s ambition that all work should be fair and decent – including tackling pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

The UK already has some of the most generous maternity entitlement in the world, including 52 weeks of maternity leave (39 of which are paid for) – three times the EU minimum.

The Government is now looking to extend redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents, and proposals include:

  • explaining the different legal protections for pregnant women and new mothers under the Equality Act 2010 and the Employment Rights Act 1996;

  • how, for those on maternity leave, redundancy protection currently afforded under the Employment Rights Act can be extended into a period of “return to work”, and for how long this period should last;

  • whether similar protection should be afforded to other groups returning from long-term childcare leave – in particular adoption leave and shared parental leave;

  • the steps that the Government is taking to increase employers’ awareness of their rights and obligations and how they might be improved to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination more effectively;

  • the existing approach to the enforcement of employment and equalities legislation in the context of recommendations from the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices; and

  • exploring the evidence for changing the 3-month time limit which ordinarily applies to a claim of discrimination brought to an Employment Tribunal.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is a very serious issue and I am pleased that the Government is looking into measures to tackle it. I am proud of the work the Government has done to strengthen employee rights, just last month it announced the largest upgrade to workplace rights in a generation.”

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