Bill to strengthen employment rights for new mums and mums-to-be, returns to the House of Commons

MP for Barnsley Central, Dan Jarvis’ Private Members’ Bill will be back in the House of Commons on 9 September for its second reading.

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill will extend redundancy protections to help safeguard pregnant women and workers returning from maternity leave. The measures will also apply to workers on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

Research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that 54,000 women a year lose their job for getting pregnant. While three in four working mums say they have experienced pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Commenting, Dan Jarvis said:

 “No one should be penalised for having children, but too often women are. We are now 6 years on from the EHRC’s shocking findings and nothing has been done to tackle the grotesque levels of discrimination new mums and pregnant women face.

“The pandemic exacerbated workplace inequalities and today families are facing one of the worst cost-of-living crises in living memory. What new parents need at the very least is job security.

“My Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill is a step towards providing working families with security and dignity in the workplace. I’m proud it has cross-party support, including the backing of Unison, Fawcett Society, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the EHRC.”

Commenting, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“It’s a scandal so many women are forced out of their jobs because employers don’t know the law or simply ​choose to ignore it.

“Pregnant women and new mothers need ​much better protection ​at work. The current system just isn’t up to the job.

“This bill is a significant step ​forward and has UNISON’s wholehearted support.”  

Commenting, Claire McCartney, Senior Policy Adviser at CIPD said:

“We support the Bill to extend redundancy protections to help ensure that pregnant women and new parents returning from parental leave don’t face discrimination and increased risk of losing their jobs. 

“Workers should not have to face discrimination due to their personal and family circumstances and it is also in employers’ interests to create inclusive and supportive working cultures that attract and retain working parents.”


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