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Proposed bill will protect new and expectant mums from redundancy

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead Burton

Currently, in the UK, redundancy while on maternity is legal so long as the person’s pregnancy hasn’t factored into the decision-making.

In a Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill, pregnant people and new parents will get more protection against being made redundant.

Protection will begin once the pregnancy is disclosed at work until the child is 18 months old.

The new law is expected to come into place later this year.

Research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that three in four working mums believe they have experienced pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

While it’s illegal to discriminate, many mums can find themselves hard-pressed to prove that has taken place in a legal system that doesn’t offer much in the way of protection as it stands.

Labour MP Dan Jarvis is behind the new bill that now has the backing of MPs and is due to be debated in the House of Lords.

Provided it is approved as expected, the law will affect England, Wales and Scotland.

The MP wants it to help the ‘tens of thousands of women pushed out of the workforce every year simply for being pregnant’.

The Pregnant Then Screwed charity said this was a ‘step in the right direction’, but until it is legal, more work needs to be done.

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