Are mothers at greater risk of redundancy in 2019?

Working mothers are more at risk of redundancy than other employees.

Redundancy Assist works with directors and employees of insolvent companies to help them get back what they’re due.


Earlier this year the government announced a new consultation looking at extending the legal protection against redundancy for pregnant and new mothers so it would continue for up to six months after they returned to work. The consultation will close on 5 April 2019.


The consultation also includes potentially extending the protections to parents returning from adoption leave or shared parental leave as both are currently not covered.


It might be needed.


In previous government research, 28% of companies surveyed felt that enhanced protection from redundancy during Ordinary Maternity Leave (the first 26 weeks of Maternity Leave) was unreasonable which is why many people may feel that legislative action is required to enforce rights rather than rely on the goodwill of businesses with tightening margins in an uncertain economy.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also suggests from their research that up to 54,000 women a year may be losing their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity annually and that 1% of mothers were made redundant while pregnant, 3% while on maternity leave and 2% on their return from maternity leave.


That said, the redundancy rate for women has reduced slightly over the past six months according to the latest publicly available figures. The redundancy rate for women from Sep-Nov 2018 was 3.3% and had fallen to 2.8% in the period Nov 2018 – Jan 2019. The rate for men had risen from 3.3% to 3.8% over the corresponding period.


In the previous 12 months at Redundancy Assist, 32% of our clients have been women. Our clients can be categorised as employees or directors. Employees we’ve worked with had an average of 12.6 years of service before redundancy while directors had served 9.5 years. The average age of both groups was in the early fifties so it was even more important that we could help them gain some compensation.


Beyond the figures there are also some demographic realities at work that affect women in real life. Some 90% of single parent families are headed by women so they are disproportionately already have more responsibility and could be affected by the potential blow of losing a job more as a result.


Redundancy Assist works with directors and employees of insolvent companies. If you are worried about your position at work and feel you could be entitled to redundancy then contact one of our expert team of advisors who can outline the options that may be available to you and what you can do as soon as you learn about any decision affecting your employment.