Scrase Law Employment Solicitors

New pregnancy and family leave provisions – updated guidance published

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published updated guidance for employers reflecting the pregnancy and family leave provisions that have come into force this month.  The EHRC states that its aim is to provide employers with clear advice on what they should do to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work. 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy and maternity: Pregnancy – sets out a summary of employers’ key obligations in relation to pregnant employees.  The guidance reflects new provisions that pregnant employees have the right during any redundancy procedure to be offered suitable alternative employment in priority to other employees.

Return to work

Pregnancy, adoption and maternity: Return to work – sets out employers’ legal obligations to new parents returning to work after they have taken leave due to pregnancy, adoption or maternity.  The guidance reflects new provisions that employees who are pregnant and are taking maternity leave have a right to be offered suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation in priority to other employees. This protection continues upon return from maternity leave and lasts for 18 months from the date of birth.  Similar provisions apply in relation to adoption and shared parental leave.

The guidance also reflects the new provision that employees have a day one right to request flexible working and reminds employers that refusing a request without a good business reason might amount to indirect sex discrimination.  

Paternity leave

Maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave and pay – covers employers’ duties to employees in relation to maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave and pay.  The guidance reflects new provisions that paternity leave can be taken at any time within the first year after birth, and can be taken as two separate weeks or two consecutive weeks.  It also reflects the new notice periods that apply.

Comment

As noted in the guidance, employers should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the changes to the law that are now in force. 

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26 April 2024

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©2024 SCRASE LAW LTD. THIS POST IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND IS NOT ADVICE. YOU ARE RECOMMENDED TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION ON THE BASIS OF THIS POST