New rights for parents means rethinking redundancies

New rights for parents means rethinking redundancies

9th March 2023


The Protection from Redundancy Bill, which unanimously passed its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday, would give new and expectant parents priority over their colleagues for suitable alternative jobs when they are faced with redundancy.

Natasha Adom of GQ|Littler said that the law's more moderate approach is probably why it has been so popular with MPs. "It doesn't completely tie employers' hands," she added.

But Adom and others warned that the changes — which would be enacted through secondary legislation that has not yet been tabled — should compel employers to revisit how they structure redundancies to meet their legal obligations and diversity goals.

"Employers need to ensure that they're scoring candidates fairly and taking account of any pregnancy related-circumstances," Adom said. "What they shouldn't do is overly inflate that employee's score because they're trying to be fair."

What Employers Should Consider

"You would then have to work out a way to select, within those people, who has priority," Adom said. "That might be looking back at the original selection criteria to work out who was at risk in the first place.

"Your processes are only going to be as good as your record-keeping," GQ|Littler's Adom said.

Where They Can Go Further

"Even if you as the employer think 'it's too junior for her' or 'it's in the wrong location for her' ...what does the employee think?" Adom said. "They may say they would be interested in a voluntary redundancy, but you won't know unless you ask.

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