To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to paragraph 70 of the Women and Equalities Committee's report of Session 2016-17, Pregnancy and maternity discrimination, HC90, whether he plans to implement a system similar to that used in Germany under which pregnant women and new mothers can be made redundant only in specified circumstances.
The Government response to the Women and Equalities Select Committee report said that we would consider further and bring forward proposals to ensure that the protection in place for those who are pregnant or returning from maternity leave is sufficient.
Protection already exists through the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999. Where redundancy means that it is not practicable to continue to employ a woman on maternity leave under an existing contract, Regulation 10 requires an employer to offer appropriate alternative employment on terms which are not substantially less favourable. We are considering the implications of extending this right into the period when a new mother returns to work and into the period while she is pregnant and at work. In terms of initial consultation, we have also sought the views of the Alliance for Maternity Rights on other potential measures.