A report calls for stronger protection for women from discrimination.
The Women and Equalities Committee have proposed that pregnant and new mothers should be entitled to added protection from redundancy. A ban on redundancy during pregnancy, maternity leave and for six months after they return to work is being considered.
This report by Women and Equalities Committee focused heavily on UK government following in Germany’s footsteps and protecting women who are pregnant or recently returned from maternity leave.
If this ban on redundancy is to go ahead then this can have an effect on employers who are already undergoing redundancy and restructuring programmes. Whilst the concept of the ban is positive in terms of better protection for women, this can have a domino effect and debilitate employers who want to run fair redundancy programmes in line with treating all employees equally.
This ban could also see new legislation being written to accommodate for the ‘bad treatment’ described in the report, which at times, appears vague. Employers could end up not knowing where they stand with contradicting legislation.
The report, published in August 2016, was commissioned by the government and EHRC and made a number of recommendations including ensuring women and employers understand their rights and strengthening existing protections.
In response to this report Margot James MP has stated that the government is making ‘good progress’ in terms of implementing any recommendations and pledged a continued commitment to tackling discrimination in relation to pregnancy and maternity.
”The fact that women face discrimination in the workplace as a result of pregnancy or for taking maternity leave is wholly unacceptable and unlawful. It is shocking that some employers still behave in this way and alienate a key group of their workforce, we are determined to built an economy that works for everyone. This includes ensuring that pregnant and new mothers are supported in work, where they have made that choice and that they are treated fairly.”
Margot James, MP
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What are your thoughts on this proposed new ban?
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