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Employment: Females

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL5563, tabled on 10 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to support women at work who have been affected by employment and risk concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

23 June 2020

The Government has taken significant steps to protect jobs for all people, whilst minimising the risk of spreading the virus – by encouraging flexible work practices and home working, and through implementing our unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Support Scheme.

We have provided clear Health and Safety guidance to employers, to minimise risk in the workplace. This includes identifying what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus and thinking about who could be at risk (e.g. pregnant women).

As always, equalities legislation requires that employers must not discriminate based on gender or pregnancy and maternity in the workplace – this includes discrimination in regard to decisions around access to furlough and working from home. The same applies to decisions around redundancy. It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex or disability.