Howells contributes to protecting new mothers returning to work

Howells are proud that senior employment law solicitor, Tom Bernard, has recently contributed to the Employment Lawyers Associations (ELA) response to the governments consultation regarding redundancy protection for new mothers returning from maternity leave.

Currently, female employees are given enhanced protection during a redundancy situation that occurs while they are either pregnant or on maternity leave. Once they have returned to work however their protection ends and can be at risk of unfair treatment.

A campaign group reports that a staggering 54000 new mothers a year are pushed out of their jobs when they return from maternity leave and 77% of working mothers have received negative or discriminatory treatment at work.

Tom’s contribution to the ELA’s response will help improve new mothers rights once they return to work and redundancies are in process or imminent.
The ELA have suggested that an extension of protection will offer a suitable and realistic change to employment law, giving new mothers suitable protection for a short period after they return whilst not disregarding the needs of the businesses the law will effect.

The ELA’s response also highlights requirements needed to protect all employees who may need time off childcare, such as those taking shared parental leave or adoption leave.
It is not yet known when the government will make their decision following the consultation responses, but the suggestion put forward in the consultation document and supported in the ELA response is for a 6 month extension of the enhanced redundancy protection upon the return to work, hopefully reducing the risk of unfair treatment associated with pregnancy/maternity leave..

Tom said “I have enjoyed being part of the ELA’s working party to produce a response to the BEIS Consultation on extending redundancy protection to women and new parents.

“It was a really interesting consultation to be involved with, looking at how best to protect new parents who take maternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave etc, both during their leave and on their return to the workplace.”

If you have been unfairly treated at work Howells host a weekly free drop in at their Rotherham office on Mondays 9:30am – 12:30pm and Sheffield on Wednesday 10am – 4pm. Alternatively there is an ‘online employment law clinic’. If you have a question regarding employment law, email it through to [email protected] on any Monday and one of our expert team will respond the same day.