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Supporting New Parents in Work

Volume 653: debated on Thursday 24 January 2019

Through the industrial strategy the Government are working to transform our economy to ensure that everyone, no matter what their background, can enter into the labour market and progress at work.

In the “Good Work Plan” we set out an ambition that all work should be fair and decent. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination has absolutely no place in that ambition. It is unlawful.

In our response to the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination, we made a commitment to review the position in relation to redundancy following the suggestion that we could further strengthen existing protections. We have completed that review.

Tomorrow, we are publishing a consultation document proposing legislative changes to strengthen the existing protection against redundancy by extending it into a period of return to work after maternity leave or other types of parental leave. It currently applies to women on maternity leave. By doing so we will further help to tackle discrimination and support new parents in work.

The consultation also covers other steps we are taking to change the culture which can exist around pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace.

Copies of the consultation will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.