On 22 July 2019, the UK Government published its response to the “Good Work Plan: Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Consultation”, which took place earlier this year.
The consultation looked at three main issues:
- whether redundancy protection should be extended into the period of “return to work”;
- whether similar protections should be given to other groups who take extended periods of leave, such as adoption or shared parental leave;
- whether the government could take steps that more effectively tackle pregnancy discrimination by increasing business and employer awareness.
As a result of the feedback received, the government proposes to do the following:
- extend the redundancy protection period for six months once a new mother has returned to work;
- afford the same protection to those taking adoption leave;
- extend redundancy protection for those returning from shared parental leave.
The response noted that shared parental leave worked differently to maternity and adoption leave in that the increased flexibility could cause some issues. The government will consider this when designing the new protection.