BOSSES will be banned from making mums and dads redundant for six months after they return from maternity, adoption and shared parental leave.
Currently, employers can’t fire or make a pregnant women redundant just because she’s pregnant when she’s on maternity leave or during the first two weeks she’s back in work.
If employers have to make a new or expecting mum redundant, they must offer an alternative role within the company – and the mum would get priority over other employees.
But now these rules will be extended from the first two weeks when a mum goes back to work to the first six months.
It comes after government research found that one in nine women said they had been 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.
The same research estimates that 54,000 women a year may lose their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity.
Your rights during maternity leave
HERE are your maternity leave rights:
- Can you be fired for being on maternity leave? No – this is classed as discrimination.
- Can you be made redundant while on maternity leave? Yes – as long as your employer genuinely needs to make redundancies. And they will have to offer you an alternative role.
- Can you still get a pay rise and accrue holiday while on maternity leave? Your employment rights to pay rises and to accrue holiday are protected during maternity leave.
In addition, the six-month rule will also apply for the first time to both mums and dads who’ve taken shared parental leave or adoption leave.
Currently, they’re not covered at all by the law.
We’ve asked the government if dads on paternity leave will also be covered by the new rules and we’ll update this story as soon as we get a response.
But the new rules won’t come into force until there’s time to clear them in Parliament, and there’s no timescale on when this will be – so there may be a wait for this to actually happen.
Former Prime Minister, Theresa May, first outlined the plans back in January.
Kelly Tolhurst, business minister said: “There is no place for discrimination against new parents in the modern workplace.
“It is unacceptable that new parents continue to feel they are treated unfairly and the government is determined to put an end to this.
“The reforms announced today will better protect new parents, giving them the peace of mind to manage the return to work while also caring for a new child.”
The government has also announced that it will set up a group to develop an action plan on what further steps government and other organisations can take to make it easier for pregnant women and new mothers to stay in work.
From tax-free childcare to free nursery hours – we’ve rounded-up the childcare help worth £5,000-plus parents may be missing out on.
Plus, these are the ways to cut the cost of childcare from discounts to community nurseries.
And Sainsbury’s has launched summer holiday childcare for just £7.50 a day – and it includes lunch.
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