Legal protections for mothers returning to work

Legal protections for mothers returning to work

New mothers returning to work will be given greater protection in a bid to stamp out workplace discrimination, the Government has revealed.

According to the report, published in July, the legal protections afforded to new parents will be extended by six months.

The same rules will also apply to parents returning from adoption and shared parental leave.

The new measures mean that pregnant women and new mothers could receive up to two years of legal protection against redundancy.

It comes shortly after a recent study found that up to 54,000 women a year felt they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination. According to the research, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), one in nine women report being fired or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child or were treated so badly they felt forced out of their job.

Under the new measures, new mothers returning to work will receive legal protection in a redundancy situation for an additional six months. This will start from the date of the mother’s return to work. The laws currently in place only affect women and men on parental leave and do not consider the impact of the ensuing months of parenthood.

The new measures form part of the Government’s revolutionary new Good Work Plan. The strategy also considers new rules around leave entitlement for parents of sick and premature babies, as well as recommendations on how to promote flexible working.

Commenting on the report, Kate Boguslawska, Employment Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP said: “The reforms will give better protection to new parents and should eliminate instances of discrimination against new parents.”

If you need advice with regards to any of the issues raised above, please contact Kate Boguslawska to find out how our expert team can help.