Extended redundancy protection for maternity, adoption or shared parental leave | Consensus HR – Herts, Beds

Extended redundancy protection for maternity, adoption or shared parental leave | Consensus HR – Herts, Beds

Published in May this year, the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 requires secondary legislation to bring its provisions into force and full details can be seen below, together with a number of other planned employment law changes.

The relevant statutory instrument, the Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024, has been laid before Parliament in draft form and is expected to come into force on 6 April 2024.

The draft regulations amend the Maternity and Parental Leave, etc Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3312) (MAPLE), the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2788) and the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3050).

Under current rules, before offering redundancy to an employee on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave, employers have an obligation to offer them a suitable alternative vacancy where one exists. This is set out in Regulation 10 of the MAPLE.

The new legislation will enable this redundancy protection to be extended so that it applies to pregnant women as well as new parents returning to work from a relevant form of leave. This will, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said, help shield new parents and expectant mothers from workplace discrimination, offering them greater job security at an important time in their lives.

The aim is to extend the MAPLE protections through an expanded period covering from when an employee tells their employer they are pregnant until 18 months after the birth.

The 18-month window will ensure that an employee returning from a year of maternity leave can receive six months’ additional redundancy protection. The 18-month window will also apply to adoption leave and shared parental leave.

For those taking shared parental leave who have not taken maternity or adoption leave, there is a six-week threshold of continuous leave that needs to be met for the requirements to apply for a period of time after shared parental leave has ended. Where the six-week threshold is not met, the requirements apply during shared parental leave.

While the details are unlikely to be changed, it is important to note that the above relates to draft regulations which have still to be formally adopted by Parliament.

Extended redundancy protection for maternity, adoption or shared parental leave | Consensus HR – Herts, Beds
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Our HR Comment:  Extended redundancy protection for maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

Matthew P Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, BA (Hons), Owner comments: “We knew this was on its way, when it was published in May this year and it is nice to get some further information from our Chartered Institute & HR inform.  This is another piece of legislation that we now know will be coming into force in April 2024, together with Flexible Working from day one of employment.  Click Here to read our previous blog on Flexible Working, a day one right.

Other planned Employment Law changes

  • Proposed rates of SSP and family friendly leave announced – On 28 November 2023, the Government published its proposals for pay rates for family friendly leave, statutory sick pay, and the lower earnings threshold to be applied from April 2024.
  • Employment Law Newsletter November 2023 (Click here)
    • Consultation for Acas new Code of Practice
    • Bonus clawback clause in contract not a restraint of trade
    • Menopause Manifesto published.
    • Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 now in force.
    • Remote working claims increase.
  • New employment laws: update – 2023 /24 (click here)
    • The new Laws are:
    • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023
    • Carer’s Leave Act 2023
    • Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
    • Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023
    • Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023
    • Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
    • Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act 2023
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