Legal protections against redundancy to be extended for new parents

In July 2019, the Government announced that it is extending legal protections against redundancy for new mothers returning to work and for any parents returning from adoption and shared parental leave.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is already illegal, and mothers on maternity leave have special protection in a redundancy situation. These reforms extend that redundancy protection for a further 6 months from the date of a mother’s return to work as well as covering those taking adoption or shared parental leave. The intention is that this will help ensure new parents are protected from discrimination in the workplace, regardless of their gender or circumstances.

The move comes in response to a government consultation which found that many new parents report facing unfair discrimination in the workplace. This was backed up by research commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which estimated that up to 54,000 women a year felt they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination.

The announcement comes alongside other proposed measures designed to support working parents, as part of the Government’s Good Work Plan. These include proposed new leave entitlements for parents of sick and premature babies, measures to ensure large businesses are more transparent on their policies for parental leave and pay, and plans in relation to flexible working. These plans are currently open for consultation, for more information visit the Government’s website.

Employers For Childcare urges all employers to adopt a family friendly culture

It’s widely accepted that implementing family friendly policies in the workplace to support those with caring responsibilities (whether for children or older relatives) boosts staff loyalty and increases staff retention. Employees with caring responsibilities need support and flexibility in order to balance their work and family. When an organisation harnesses a family friendly ethos its employees feel understood and valued not just as employees but as parents, grandparents, siblings and grandchildren.

Helping your staff achieve a manageable work/life balance is key and we’re here to help employers. Our Family Benefits Advice Service offers employers a Freephone helpline 0800 028 3008 and outreach service which provides help with implementing family friendly policies and navigating employment legislation. We offer advice and information relating to maternity, paternity, shared leave and guidance on family friendly policies. You can also download our ‘Family Friendly Employer Guide’ for more information.

In October 2019, Employers For Childcare will be celebrating the UK’s most family friendly employers at our annual Family Friendly Awards Ceremony. Click here to find out more, or email to book your place.