The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 came into force on 24 July 2023. This recent legislative measure grants the Government the authority to strengthen the redundancy protections available to pregnant employees and those resuming work post-parental leave.
Key provisions of the Act
The Act calls for the formulation of supplementary regulations for its comprehensive implementation.
It introduces the concept of a ‘protected period’ during pregnancy, the exact duration of which will be specified in the upcoming regulations.
During the protected period, employers may be required to offer alternative employment opportunities.
Non-compliance with the Act could potentially lead to dismissals being deemed unfair.
The Act amends certain aspects of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to expand redundancy protections during and after maternity leave, including during adoption and shared parental leaves.
A significant proposal under consideration is the extension of the ‘protected period’ from the time an employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy to six months following their return from maternity leave. The ratification of this proposal is pending the release of secondary legislation.
What sets this Act apart?
The Act brings a notable change by enhancing the emphasis on the employer’s duty to diligently provide viable job alternatives to employees during or after such leaves, provided such roles are available.
This development builds on the foundations laid by section 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 and section 99 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which already accord priority to employees on maternity leave.
As of now, the schedule for the implementation of these amendments remains unclear.
We will provide further updates as soon as the details emerge, however, if you would like to discuss this in the meantime then please contact us today.
Senior Associate – Dispute Resolution / Employment
I have specialised in Dispute Resolution, Civil Litigation and Employment law for more than 15 years. I understand how daunting the prospect of litigation can be and because of this I am always available to discuss concerns.
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