Enhanced redundancy protections give pregnant women and new parents even greater protection than that set out in current EU requirements.
The Equality Act sets out a ‘protected period’ during which women who are pregnant or on maternity leave are protected from discrimination.
The period runs from the start of pregnancy to a woman’s return to work or two weeks after the end of her pregnancy if she is not entitled to maternity leave.
However, the enhanced redundancy protections extend this period to cover a new mum’s first six months back at work.
The enhanced protection was introduced in response to a government consultation that found that new parents can face unfair discrimination, leading to women feeling that they have to leave their jobs as a result of pregnancy or maternity discrimination.
Research commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that one in nine women said they had been fired or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child or were treated so badly that they felt forced out of their job.