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Workplace Discrimination: Pregnant Women and New Mothers

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2020

In Germany, women who are pregnant or on maternity leave cannot be made redundant, to avoid any hidden discrimination. With one in four women who are pregnant during the pandemic experiencing discrimination here at home, is it not time for the UK to look carefully at adopting a similar approach to that taken in Germany?

I thank my right hon. Friend for pushing her private Member’s Bill and for her concern in this area. I was pleased to meet her. Germany has a far more prescriptive labour market. We support the intention behind her Bill but, having undertaken a full consultation in 2019, we have decided on a different approach, working with the grain of our current regime and extending the existing protection afforded to a new mother on maternity leave into pregnancy and for a six-month return to work period. We will introduce these changes as soon as parliamentary time allows. I am more than happy to continue to work with my right hon. Friend in that regard.