Retracting unsigned contract extension due to pregnancy(7 Posts)
I am currently on secondment with another local authority until the 21 April.
Both my original local authority (B) and current local authority (W) agreed to extend my secondment to the 21 October. I have email confirmation that all three of us were happy with the extension. W issued a revised secondment agreement and sent it to B. I was waiting for B to sign it and then W and myself would sign it.
At my 1-2-1 with W today he said not to wait for B and to just sign the contract which I have done today. However, at the end of the meeting I also advised W that I am 12 weeks pregnant with twins. He was nice about it and congratulated me but also asked when I plan to leave. I said it would be sometime in June given that it is a multiple pregnancy.
W said that he will have to seek HR advice but he may now look to reissue the contract only until the 21 June so that I do not go on maternity leave during my secondment contract. He said that B would be in charge of organising my maternity leave and pay and that W would not be reimbursed for any of this if I was on maternity leave whilst on secondment.
I am kicking myself for waiting for B to sign the contract first and not having done it a couple of weeks ago when it was first issued. I wanted to advice W of my pregnancy because it has already started to become obvious and I did not want to lie about imminent hospital appointments. Basically, I was too honest.
My questions are:
- despite having verbal and email agreement for the extension to my secondment can it be retracted because it is not signed by B and W and then reissued?
- given that the potential reissue of the contract is due to me being pregnant is this discrimination against me and therefore illegal?
I have done a bit of research and I think that I cannot be overlooked for a contract or an opportunity if I am pregnant and that was the reason for me not being considered.
Out of curiosity, what difference will it make to you (unless you are planning on returning to work prior to 21st October)?
I think that W is totally in the wrong legally, and I would expect that HR would advise them of that.
Are you in a Union or can you speak to ACAS?
Rock chick, I have no post after Oct (redundant as soon as i finish my secondment contract) so no I cannot return even if I wanted to. I am very annoyed about his stance though because by shortening my contract it means that any accrued leave between June and Oct will now not happen when i was bankng on this to supplement the start of my leave as my commute is very long and tiring but most of all it will affect my redundancy pay by about £1000 because if my contract finishes in June I am six wks short of five continuous years service which bears on the calculations.
Cheddar, I have now had a reply from my employer's HR and they have confirmed W cannot retract my contract as he stated on the back of my news and that this would be discrimination. They will put this in writing and advice W.
However, I have also sought some informal legal advice on the matter and they said that secondments are different. The law only refers to the fact that my employer cannot discriminate against me (which they aren't) but that secondments are just a contract between organisations so they can change the contract and not affected by the sexual discrimination act.
Being two local authorities I think they will just resolve this between them as they do not want to be the ones who discriminated against a pg woman. I just hope that W doesn't fight this, he has already said that secondments are different and he can be very bloody minded!
Sorry, think I misunderstood. Usually when on secondment you would return to your original post at the end of the contract so you would still be employed, albeit by B instead of W. I assume from your second post that B no longer has a position for you?
No, I'm afraid not. When I accepted the secondment I knew my post was to be deleted so at least this has kept me in employment for much longer than expected. Even with no post to go back to B agreed to support me through my initial secondment and any contract extension when they didn't have to because we have a close partnership agreement between the two authorities.
I'll see what next week brings!
Good luck getting it sorted.
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