New and expectant mothers have been given a great boost as a proposed bill will keep their job safe from redundancy whilst on maternity leave. Currently, being made redundant in the UK whilst pregnant is legal, as long as the pregnancy isn’t factored into the decision made.
The new bill will allow protection from when the pregnancy is disclosed at work, and will last until the child reaches the age of 18-months-old. The proposed bill is reportedly expected to come into action later this year.
This comes after research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that three in four working mums believe they have experienced pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
The proposed bill is being backed by Labour MP Dan Jarvis and if it is approved as expected, it will affect England, Wales and Scotland. The MP wants it to help the ‘tens of thousands of women pushed out of the workforce every year simply for being pregnant’.
The charity ‘Pregnant Then Screwed’ who refer to redundancy whilst on maternity leave as the ‘motherhood penalty’ said that the new proposed bill was a ‘step in the right direction’ but admitted until it’s active, more work needs to be done.
Pregnant Then Screwed are the leading charity regarding this issue. In 2021, they supported 4255 women through their free advice line. 97 percent said the advice line improved their confidence, 95 percent said it improved their wellbeing and 96 percent said it improved their knowledge.
They are only getting bigger too. In 2021, they were mentioned in parliament by an MP or minister every 11 days, provided support to 81,813 women & increased their helpline and mentor volunteers by 74 percent.