Redundancy protection to be extended to cover return from family friendly leave


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The government has announced that it is backing the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill, a Private Members' Bill sponsored by Dan Jarvis MP. The Bill passed its second reading with government support on 21 October 2022. 

Currently the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations concerning redundancy "during" periods of maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave. The Bill will amend the ERA 1996 to enable the Secretary of State to make regulations providing protection against redundancy "during or after" an individual taking the relevant leave. It will also add a new provision to the ERA 1996 allowing for regulations about redundancy "during, or after" a "protected period of pregnancy". The detail will be provided by the regulations, but the explanatory notes to the Bill suggest that, by extending protection after a protected period of pregnancy, a woman who has miscarried before informing her employer of her pregnancy will benefit from the redundancy protection.

These changes have been on the agenda for a while. On 22 July 2019 the government responded to consultation issued by BEIS on extending redundancy protection from redundancy for pregnant women and new parents returning from maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave, suggesting that it would bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time permitted.

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