Masterclass – Extension of Protection for Pregnant Employees

Masterclass – Extension of Protection for Pregnant Employees

 Extension of protection for pregnant employees

As of the 6th April, protection against redundancy for pregnant employees is extended considerably.

There is already a duty to give employees on maternity leave preference to redeployment opportunities over other employees. However, as at the 6th April, this will be extended and cover a full 18 month period from when the employer is first notified of the pregnancy and extending for up to 6 months after extended maternity leave ends.

The cover will begin for any employee who tells the employer of their pregnancy from the date they communicate it. The cover will continue for employees for 6 months after they return from maternity leave.

What it means is that an employee who is “protected”, should not be made redundant if there is a suitable alternative role. That role cannot be given to another employee who is not protected.

We envisage this initially causing problems for employers who may want to fill the vacancy they have now, but the employee who they must prioritise not being available for perhaps 12 months. This is something employers are going to have to come to terms with. Once it is seen as the norm, we anticipate it being perfectly normal to offer non-protected employees temporary employment covering such vacancies while the protected employees return is awaited. Naturally this may present practical difficulties with offering a package that the non protected employee might want to stay for.

During the transition, there are fairly simple rules. Anyone on maternity leave on 6th April, anyone who has informed their employer of their pregnancy on 6th April, and anyone returning after 6th April, will be protected.

We are running a practical update on all changes coming into force on 6th April.  This will take place at 8am on Thursday 21st March   Sign up now for practical advice and guidance on dealing with the changes, covering:

  • New maternity rules
  • New paternity leave rules
  • Flexible working rights
  • Carer’s leave
  • Holiday pay calculation

Follow this link to register. Breakfast, Tea & Coffee will be provided. 

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