New rules are set to be introduced in 2024 to protect pregnant women from being made redundant
As it stands, employees who fall pregnant have limited protection against being made redundant once they begin maternity leave.
The new law means that women are protected for 18 months once she tells their employer she is expecting.
The bill was introduced by Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis and was approved by MPs in February. It will now be debated in the House of Lords.
He said the introduction of the law would help ‘thousands of women pushed out of the workforce every year simply for being pregnant’.
The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations (1999) currently state that women who are on maternity or adoption leave or a parent on shared maternity leave should not be made redundant and their employer is obliged to offer them a suitable alternative vacancy where one exists if their job is at risk.
Joeli Brearley, from the charity Pregnant Then Screwed said it was a good start and a move in the right direction but said more needed to be done to challenge employers who ignore the current protection.
She told the BBC, “Women are often not made redundant but put in a position where they can no longer keep working.”
The charity is campaigning for the government to extend its time limit from three months to six months on bringing unfair dismissal cases, which it says will cause more women to appeal.”