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Extended protection from redundancy for pregnant employees and those on family leave

The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 are due to come into effect on 6 April 2024, enforcing the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023.

At the moment, the one ‘positive discrimination’ piece of employment legislation, regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, obliges employers to offer first refusal of any suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation to parents on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.  The new law extends the period of time for this protection in the following ways:

  • Maternity Leave – 18 months from the first day of the estimated week of childbirth.  This can change to exact date of childbirth if the employee informs their employer before their maternity leave ends.
  • Adoption Leave – 18 months from the first day of placement of the child.
  • Shared Parental Leave – 18 months from the birth of the child, provided the parent takes at least six consecutive weeks of shared parental leave and is not entitled under one of the two categories above.

This law is not finalised yet and, therefore, could be changed before 6 April 2024, but it is unlikely to happen.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Paul Burton, Employment Law Solicitor.