The UK is seeking comments by 5 April 2019 on a proposal to extend existing redundancy protections for women on maternity leave to pregnant employees and women who have returned from maternity leave in the previous six months. The consultation follows reports that found that pregnant women and new mothers continue to feel forced out of work.
The consultation features these provisions:
─ The government believes that enforcement of redundancy protection for pregnant women and new mothers should be consistent with enforcement of other employment protections and will issue proposals for consultation on creating a new, single labor market enforcement agency.
─ The Women and Equalities Select Committee had proposed an extension of six months, but the government notes that tribunals already can extend the period for “just and equitable” circumstances and is considering further guidance to increase awareness.
─ The government has already committed to consult on changing time limits for claims relating to discrimination, harassment and victimization, including on grounds of pregnancy and maternity.