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Government Consultation Paper; Maternity Leave Extending Rights

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The government have recently published a consultation paper to extend the rights of women who have just returned from maternity leave, giving them priority over other redundant employees when the employer offers suitable alternative employment.

Currently, under Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999, if a woman on maternity leave is selected for redundancy, she must be given preference over other suitable employment offered by the employer during the redundancy process.

This new proposal aims to extend this right to women who have returned from maternity leave within the last six months.  It has also been said that the government may consider extending this right further to women who have informed their employer that they are pregnant.  Additionally, those who are on adoption leave, shared parental leave and longer periods of parental leave may obtain this right under the revised Regulations too.