Extension of Redundancy Protection for Pregnancy and New Parents

legal updates

Explore the strengthened redundancy protections for new parents with significant amendments to maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave rights, effective from April 2024, ensuring enhanced job security during critical family milestones.

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From April 2024, significant amendments to the redundancy protection period for employees on maternity leave, adoption leave, and shared parental leave have been introduced, aiming to enhance job security for new parents. These changes extend the special protection period against redundancy, ensuring that employees undergoing significant life transitions remain safeguarded in the event of workplace restructuring.

Key Amendments

  1. Maternity Leave Protection
    The protected period now encompasses pregnancy, extending up to 18 months from either
    the estimated week of childbirth or the exact date of birth if specified by the employee
    before the end of maternity leave.
  2. Adoption Leave Protection
    Employees on adoption leave are granted redundancy protection for a duration of 18
    months from the placement of adoption, ensuring continuity of employment stability
    during the transition period.
  3. Shared Parental Leave Protections
    For individuals opting for shared parental leave, the protected period spans 18 months from
    the birth of the child. This extension applies provided the parent has taken a minimum of
    six consecutive weeks of shared parental leave.

These amendments impact employers’ obligations to and considerations for their workforce, including:

  • Employers must adhere to the revised protected periods, offering suitable alternative employment within the specified timeframes to eligible employees facing redundancy.
  • Priority must be accorded to employees with redundancy protection, even if other candidates are deemed suitable for available positions. Failing to do so may result in unfair dismissal claims.
  • Employers should update their policies and procedures to reflect the extended redundancy protection periods.
  • Employers must inform their workforce that notification of pregnancy or adoption must be provided to them before the specified deadlines to ensure accurate implementation of the protected periods.

Lawgistics members can easily update their policies and procedures using their HR Manager portal. If you are in any doubt about these or any other employment changes, please contact us for guidance and advice.

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Kiril MoskovchukTrainee SolicitorRead More by this author

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