Greater redundancy protection for pregnant women and new mothers under proposed bill

13 July 2020

The Pregnancy and Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Bill 2019-21 was reintroduced to the House of Commons on 8 July 2020, and aims to provide pregnant women and new mothers with additional legal protections against redundancy.

The bill, presented by Conservative MP, Maria Miller, will afford women greater protection from redundancy when pregnant, and also in the six months following their child’s birth. It will also provide enhanced protection from redundancy during periods of maternity leave. MPs and campaigners have been highlighting the fact that the outbreak of coronavirus means that there is increased risk of occurrences of maternity discrimination, and that this needs to be addressed.

In a ten-minute rule bill, Miller confirmed that government data revealed that thousands of women are faced with no other option than to leave their jobs due to discriminatory experiences at work, and that one in 20 are actually made redundant. Speaking in parliament, she said:

“Every year, 53,000 women leave their jobs when pregnant because of how they’ve been treated. My bill strengthens existing laws to better protect pregnant women and new mothers by prohibiting employers from making them redundant.”

A previous version of the bill failed to progress through parliament back in 2019, which mirrored the redundancy protections for women in Germany. This is the bill that was reintroduced by Miller, and is scheduled for a second reading on 16 October 2020.

 


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