Charity calls on government for better protection from unfair redundancy for new and expectant mothers
Marc Bloomfield
In a report published in October 2017 (Unfair redundancies during pregnancy, maternity leave and return to work), the charity Maternity Action (MA) called on the government to beef up laws to protect women from discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.
MA argues that large numbers of women are dismissed on the grounds of redundancy due to pregnancy. The charity cites research from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (Pregnancy and maternity-related discrimination and disadvantage: experiences of mothers, 2016) that found that 11 per cent of mothers lost their job due to maternity discrimination.
On 26 January 2017, in response to Pregnancy and maternity discrimination. First report of session 2016–17 (HC 90, 31 August 2016), the government published Government response to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report on pregnancy and maternity discrimination (Cm 9401). In the introduction to its response, the government said it ‘takes this issue very seriously and is committed to addressing this form of discrimination’ (page 5).
MA recommends new legal protections for women from unfair redundancy as well as, among other things, an extension of the time limit to bring a claim before an employment tribunal to six months for maternity and pregnancy discrimination cases.

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A national, independent charity, promoting equal access to justice for all members of society who are socially, economically or otherwise...