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25 January 2019, 12:43 | Updated: 25 January 2019, 12:48
A new government consultation will hope to protect new mothers from unfair redundancy when they return to work following maternity leave.
Under potential new legislation mothers returning from maternity leave could be protected from redundancy for six months.
Currently The Equality Act of 2010 only protects women who are pregnant or returning from maternity leave from the start of their pregnancy up until the return to work.
In a consultation launched on Friday 25th January a proposal will be discussed in the hope of extended the period of which women are legally protected.
It will also discuss about applying the same protection to those who are returning from adoption or shared parental leave and are not currently protected by the 2010 Equality Act.
According to research commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), 1 in 9 women said they had been fired or made redundant upon returning to work after having a child or were treated so poorly they felt forced to leave.
Prime Minister Teresa May is backing these proposed improvements to the law around protecting new mothers in the workplace and said:
"People in this country already benefit from some of the most rigorous workplace standards in the world, including parental leave and pay entitlements, but we are determined to do even more as we leave the EU.
"It’s unacceptable that too many parents still encounter difficulties when returning to work. Today’s proposals are set to provide greater protection for new parents in the workplace, and put their minds at ease at this important time."