Extending Maternity Protection
A new report suggests that as many as 54,000 new or expectant mothers have been forced out of their job since 2005, it further suggests that this is double previous figures. The Women and Equalities Committee has put forward various suggestions to help reduce this figure.
A German model has been suggested where government approval is needed to dismiss a woman from the start of pregnancy to four months after childbirth.
Other recommendations from the report are that the fee for taking a maternity related discrimination case to the tribunal, currently £1,200 to be significantly reduced and also that the time limit for taking a claim to tribunal, currently 3 months, be increased to 6 months.
The government has said that it will look at the recommendations carefully and, obviously we will report back when we hear more. Maternity already provides several strong protections, but as the report says some businesses will use alternative methods to get women to leave after having a baby.
Having and using a robust maternity/family friendly policy should keep you out of the tribunals and help too maintain a happy workforce. Treating staff fairly is the mainstay of any HR policy, so if you are even slightly unsure about your Company’s policies you should contact Premier Legal’s employment law experts who can help you make sure that each policy is up to date and compliant with current legislation.
The BBC news report on this committee report can be found by clicking – BBC News