Currently, individuals on maternity leave, adoption leave, or shared parental leave should be given first refusal of any suitable alternative employment available if they have been put at risk of redundancy.
New laws will extend this protection. The legislation is in draft form and subject to change, however key features are as follows:
- The protection extension will apply to pregnant workers where the employer is informed of the pregnancy on or after 6 April 2024
- The protection period of time after leave has been taken will apply to any maternity/adoption leave that ends on or after 6 April 2024
- The protection will apply to shared parental leave stating on or after 6 April 2024
- For maternity, the protected period covers pregnancy and for 18 months from the first day of the estimated week of childbirth
- For adoption, the 18 month protection will begin from the date of placement
- For shared parental leave, the 18 month protection from is from the date of birth but only where the parent has taken a period of at least 6 consecutive weeks of shared parental leave.
- Protection when under shared parental leave will not apply when the person is protected under maternity/adoption as noted above.
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