On April 6, 2024, new regulations were implemented to grant priority status for viable alternative employment in the event of redundancy to personnel who have informed their employer of their pregnancy status or who have recently concluded shared parental leave, maternity leave, or adoption leave.

What is the structure of a fair redundancy procedure? Redundancy situation

An otherwise fair redundancy termination may become unfair if a reasonable procedure has not been adhered to. Generally speaking, an employer has not acted equitably unless they have:

conducted substantive consultation; established an equitable selection process for redundancy (including the identification of a suitable pool and selection according to objective criteria); and endeavoured to locate and, if feasible, provide alternative employment opportunities.

Who is given priority concerning viable alternative vacancies?

Priority is given to specific employees for viable alternative positions in the event of redundancy. It is mandatory to offer a suitable alternative vacancy to an employee with priority status, even if it results in preferential treatment over counterparts who possess superior qualifications. The alternative employment must be made available to the employee before the expiration of their current contract and commence promptly thereafter.

This priority status was exclusively granted to individuals on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave before April 6, 2024. This status of priority has been extended:

While pregnant

No priority if the employee notifies the employer of the pregnancy before April 6, 2024.

Priority commences on the date the employee notifies the employer of her pregnancy or thereafter April 6, 2024, and persists throughout the pregnancy.

A pregnancy that terminates before 24 weeks due to miscarriage or stillbirth

No priority if the employee notifies you of pregnancy before April 6, 2024.

Priority is granted from the date of notification (against the conclusion of the pregnancy) until two weeks after the termination of the pregnancy, provided that the employee notifies you of the pregnancy on or after April 6, 2024. 

During and returning from maternity leave - 6 April 2024

Priority is only granted on or before April 6, 2024, when maternity leave concludes.

Leave for maternity concludes on or after April 6, 2024: precedence throughout maternity leave and for the next eighteen months: The date of the child’s birth, if communicated to the employer during maternity leave or promptly thereafter as is reasonably possible; alternatively, the commencement of the expected week of childbirth if no such notification was received by the employer.

Adoption leave during and returning to work

Priority is granted exclusively during adoption leaves that conclude before April 6, 2024.

When the adoption leave concludes, or after April 6, 2024: priority until eighteen months after the conclusion of the adoption leave: the date the child entered Great Britain (for overseas adoptions) or the date of placement for adoptions in the United Kingdom.

Between shared parental leave and its conclusion

Priority is only granted during shared parental leave that commences before April 6, 2024.

Priority will only be granted for shared parental leave that commences on or after April 6, 2024, and remains for less than six consecutive weeks.

Priority during and for the first eighteen months following shared parental leave, which commences on or after April 6, 2024, and continues for a minimum of six consecutive weeks:

birth of the child; date of placement for adoption in the United Kingdom; or date the child entered the United Kingdom for international adoption.