Additional Redundancy Rights for Pregnant Staff

The Protection from Redundancy (pregnancy & family leave) Act 2023 extends redundancy protection rights that apply during maternity leave to pregnant employees. 

What as the employer do you need to know?

As the law currently stands, if an employee is selected for redundancy at any point during maternity leave, they must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that exists before colleagues who have been selected for redundancy. The employee who is on maternity leave does not have to apply to be interviewed for a suitable alternative vacancy, nor do they have to be the best fit for the job role; in other words, the employer is obliged to give them preferential treatment. The same applies where the employee has returned to work early at any point during their maternity leave.

What are the Changes to the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy & Family Leave) Act 2023?

However, in May 2023, the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy & Family Leave) Act 2023 received Royal Assent, which made several changes and granted certain employees additional employment rights. 

Firstly, it extended existing redundancy protection rights so that they apply from the point the employee informs the employer—verbally or in writing—that they are pregnant. The redundancy protection ends 18 months after the child’s birth.

The Act also extends the same rights to employees who take adoption leave or shared parental leave.

Failure to follow this law is likely to result in the redundancy being treated as an automatically unfair dismissal.

The Act comes into effect in 2024, most likely not before April but it is prudent to keep this in mind. As soon as the Act becomes law, we will let our clients know.

If you need any further information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01924 441032

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Learn more on Parental Leave:

Read our blog: ‘Working Parents – School Holiday Juggling & Accrued untaken Holiday leave – what a dilemma’

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