I have been contacted regarding employees being made redundant while pregnant or on maternity leave.
I sympathise with anyone who have been made redundant or who is currently facing redundancy, particularly during this already challenging time. I appreciate that many employees are worried that, as restrictions are eased and the UK begins its economic recovery, there may be redundancies.
There are some circumstances in which an employee who is pregnant or on maternity could legally be made redundant, and these include if the businesses closes down either temporarily or permanently, if the business moves and the employee cannot get to the new premises, or if fewer employees are required for existing work.
The law is very clear, if an employee is made redundant because she is pregnant or on maternity leave, this is unfair dismissal and also pregnancy/maternity discrimination. If this is the case, an employee should check their rights online and if necessary take their case forward to an employment tribunal.
The Pregnancy & Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Private Members’ Bill, which failed to complete its passage in the previous Parliament, was re-introduced on 8 July 2020 by Mrs Maria Miller MP. I understand that the Bill seeks to further protect employees from being made redundant as a result of being pregnant or on maternity leave. I understand that its Second Reading is scheduled to be on 16 October and I look forward to hearing more on this important issue.
If any constituent feels they have been dismissed because they are pregnant, please do get in contact and I will do my best to assist.