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More employment protection for new parents

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The government has introduced a new set of laws that will protect workers by strengthening redundancy protections to cover pregnancy and the period after parents return to work.

Pregnant women and new parents will now receive special treatment in a redundancy situation, in line with the Government’s plan to support families.

The new set of laws will also boost support to vulnerable workers by offering greater flexibility and confidence to workers and businesses – to help improve productivity and boost economic growth.

There will also be a new leave entitlement for unpaid carers. This will enable them to better balance their caring and work responsibilities, and support them to remain in employment.

In addition, there will be new flexible paternity leave and pay for parents of babies due on or after April 6. It can now be taken at any time in the first year of the child’s life and it no longer needs to be taken in a single block of one or two weeks.

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Against a backdrop of skills and labour shortages, these measures will help businesses to attract and retain talented staff. The measures also support groups more likely to fall out of the workforce, such as parents and disabled people.

Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake said the new laws will give families greater security and flexibility.

“From childcare commitments to hospital appointments, the new measures mean more flexibility over where and when you work, supporting workers across the UK. These measures are good business sense too, helping firms to attract more talent, increase retention and improve workforce diversity,” he said.

This comes alongside measures to make work pay – cutting taxes by £900 a year for the average worker, increasing the National Living Wage from £10.42 an hour to £11.44, and introducing free childcare for working parents worth £6,900 a year.

These new set of laws runs alongside laws that give workers across Britain more flexibility over where and when they work, unless there are business reasons not to, as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act comes into force.

Employment Minister Jo Churchill said, “We know that for some people balancing work with caring responsibilities can be a challenge. To help them and employers the changes we are announcing will support even more people to find a job that works with their commitments.”

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