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Redundancy Protection Extension Consultation
The government has recently announced that it is about to start consultation regarding the introduction of legislation to extend the redundancy protection currently in place for those on maternity leave to pregnant women.

The consultation, which will end on the 5th April 2019 recommends maternity and parental leave (MAPLE) regulations 1999 be extended to cover the six-month period after a new mother returns to work. It could also be applied to others, including men, who return from adoption leave or shared parental leave, so would remove the temptation for employers to discriminate illegally against employing women of child-bearing age.

The current rules say that if redundancies are being made, employers have an obligation to offer those on maternity or shared parental leave a “suitable alternative vacancy” where one is available, giving these employees priority over others who are also at risk of redundancy.
However, this provision ends when the employee returns to work. So, the idea is that this protection be extended for a further six months.

Obviously if there are no alternative roles available then employees can be made redundant whilst on maternity leave, so the new proposals won’t affect that situation, but it will widen the protection to help fathers worried that taking shared parental leave might leave them vulnerable.
Posted on 28 Jan 2019

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