New MP’s first question in Parliament tackles maternity leave discrimination

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Bury North MP James Frith rose to ask his first question in the House of Commons this week, asking Business Minister Claire Perry what steps the government is taking to strengthen redundancy protection for new mothers returning from maternity leave.

The question follows the publication of government-backed research which found that up to 54,000 mothers returning to work report feeling forced to leave their job or are dismissed or made redundant when others are not.

A Parliamentary committee recommended that the government introduce additional protection from redundancy for new and expectant mothers to end this discrimination.

James said:

“As a former employer, I know first-hand the value of protecting maternity rights, not just for the expectant mum or returning mother, but for the employer as well.

"The government’s own research identified the problem and a cross-party group of MPs came up with the solution. It is all well and good for the Minister to tell me that the government is going to come down “like a ton of bricks” on employers who are breaking the law, but as I said in Parliament, I see little evidence of a ton of bricks.

"Action is needed now to ensure that employers meet their legal responsibilities to protect new mothers and their rights at work. I will continue to press this issue on behalf of women in Bury and across the country and I will work with local employers to encourage best practice for employees in Bury.”

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