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The government has published its response to the Women and Equalities Committee report, 'Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact'.

The report found that government policies had consistently overlooked women's caring responsibilities and the employment inequalities experienced by them and made wide-ranging recommendations.

The government's response rejects many of the recommendations, but states that

  •  Amendments to the Flexible Working Regulations, removing the 26-week service requirement for making a flexible working request, will be considered.  The government will consult on making flexible working the default position, and this consultation will be issued in due course.
  • The government is committed to bringing forward an Employment Bill "when parliamentary time allows".

The government still intends to extend the redundancy protection period afforded to mothers on maternity leave.  This protection will apply to pregnant women and for six months after a mother has returned to work, and will cover those taking adoption and shared parental leave.  The measures will be brought forward "as soon as Parliamentary time allows".  
The government has rejected calls for disability pay gap reporting, but states that it is continuing to analyse relevant data and will respond to the ethnicity pay gap consultation in due course.