This is part of a wider scheme the party have designed to protect and promote gender equality following the pandemic. 

The Labour Party has stated that, under its Government, it would ensure that it would be illegal to make a pregnant employee redundant during the pregnancy. This protection against redundancy would also extend to the six months following the employee’s return to work.

Marsha de Cordova, the Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, stated:

Labour want to see data on the number of jobs created, the impact of the pandemic on the gender and ethnicity pay gaps, and an urgent review of the failing shared parental leave system.

Making it illegal to make a new mother redundant during pregnancy and maternity leave, except in very specific circumstances, is a simple, robust way to end discrimination.

In addition to this, the party have also called on the Government to review their shared parental leave policy. Campaigners previously called this policy “deeply flawed and chronically failing” as it only provides employees with half of the current Living Wage weekly (£151.97 a week).

Mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting was also mentioned as part of the party’s proposal – with the Government considering implementing this after the findings of a previous report recommended taking this step.

In addition to this, former Labour leader, Ed Miliband called for the introduction of paternity leave which would be non-transferable and would last for at least three months. This, he argued, would incentivise men to take more substantial time off to spend with their child and could help to close the gender pay gap through sharing out the work of childcare.

Mr. Miliband said:

Our ambition should be to build a world where men engage equally in the caring that has historically been done by women, and in so doing reorder the values of work, family and love so that work does not always come first.

Michael Lewkowicz, Spokesperson for the charity Families Need Fathers, said:

We fully support an extension of paid paternity leave. We believe both parents matter in children’s lives and research evidence supports this. Our policies are out of date and don’t support the best interests of children or families in general.

A take-it-or-lose-it approach to parental leave for each parent is the only model shown to work in promoting the beneficial involvement of both parents in children’s lives.

The Government have agreed to extend the redundancy protection period afforded to mothers on maternity leave. This will be instated for mothers for six months after she has returned to work and will also apply to those taking adoption leave and shared parental leave.

However, the Government has not yet stipulated a specific time frame in which this measure would be enacted.