§ Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if she will make it her policy to amend the qualifying conditions for unfair dismissal set out in the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 to enable a claim for unfair dismissal to be pursued by a woman dismissed because of her pregnancy at any stage between conception and the end of maternity leave.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Yes. The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Bill, currently before Parliament, contains provisions which will make it automatically unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee on maternity-related grounds during the period of her pregnancy or statutory maternity leave. This protection will apply regardless of the employee's length of service or hours of work.