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The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill 2022-23 is a Private Member’s Bill, Bill 15 of the 2022-23 session, introduced on 15 June 2022 by Labour MP Dan Jarvis who came second in the Private Members’ Bill ballot for the 2022-23 session.

The Bill had its first reading on 15 June 2022 and passed second reading on 21 October 2022. The Bill completed its committee stage on 2 November 2022 without amendment. In both cases MPs from all sides of the House spoke in favour of the Bill and no opposition was raised, meaning the stages were passed without division. It is listed for remaining stages on 3 February 2023.


Currently, under Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations 1999, a woman on maternity leave whose job is being made redundant, “is entitled to be offered (before the end of her employment under her existing contract) alternative employment” with her employer or an associated employer, in any suitable vacancy available that offers work appropriate for her and terms not substantially worse than her previous job.

Other regulations extend similar protections to those on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

Since 2015, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Women and Equalities Committee and campaign groups such as Pregnant Then Screwed have conducted investigations into the experiences of new mothers facing redundancy. The EHRC found that “around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in Britain each year”, while a survey of new mothers by Pregnant Then Screwed found “that 30% believed they had experienced discrimination from their employer during the pandemic”.

The Government pledged to bring forward measures in response to some of these findings and in January 2019 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy launched a consultation on Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: extending redundancy protection for women and new parents.

In response to the consultation, the Government pledged to extend current redundancy protections from the moment the employer was informed of the pregnancy through to six months after maternity leave has finished, as well as extending equivalent protections to those taking adoption leave or shared parental leave.

These measures were included in an outline of a proposed Employment Bill in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech. However, the Employment Bill was not ultimately introduced in the 2019-21 session and did not reappear in the 2021 or 2022 Queen’s Speeches.

Between 2019 and 2021 Conservative MP Maria Miller introduced three Private Member’s Bills aiming to prohibit redundancy during pregnancy, maternity leave and up to six months after, other than for a limited set of reasons. None of the Bills received a second reading.

What does the Bill do?

This Bill would give the Secretary of State the power, by regulations, to extend the Regulation 10 protections against redundancy, currently offered to women on maternity leave, to cover a longer period of time during, or after, a period of pregnancy. The Bill would also give the Secretary of State the power to make regulations to expand equivalent protections for those on adoption leave or shared parental leave to extend after those periods of leave have concluded.

More specifically, current provisions in the Employment Rights Act 1996 allow the Secretary of State to make regulations which make provision about redundancy “during” periods of maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave. This Bill would amend those respective provisions to allow regulations to make provision about redundancy “during or after” such periods of leave, as well as adding a new provision to the 1996 Act allowing for regulations about redundancy “during, or after” a “protected period of pregnancy”.

The Bill itself would not specify the details of any protections that such future regulations could set out.

Documents to download

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