I have previously posted as i am currently going through a grievance. We are now, finally, in stage 2 of the process.
I returned from maternity to find that my role was now being carried out by a team of people, and to cap it all a team manager had been put in place. I had not been informed of the restructure or given the opportunity to apply for the team manager role.
The new team manager is the same grade as me, but a lot less experience. They have put another level of manager above me. I was sure that this was effectively a demotion. My employer is disagreeing and can't see my issue, even when i demonstrate how much my work has been devalued and how i no longer have any ownership or autonomy.
Putting in another layer above you isn't automatically a demotion, no. If your responsibilities and/or salary and/or authority level have been simultaneously lowered, then that would be an indicator of demotion, but the addition of a new level of management isn't in itself.
I'm not prepared to give an opinion on that with such limited knowledge. I'm not sure changes in meeting attendance, decision making and ownership of reports would indicate a demotion if terms and conditions remain the same, job title (presumably) is the same and there is no removal of a team reporting to you. If a new layer of management is put it, it's natural for them to do things like running meetings and delegating. It doesn't mean everyone reporting into them has now been demoted, nor is it unlawful.
I really think it's better to focus on two issues. Was the role you were given on return from maternity leave 'suitable'? Ie, were terms and conditions preserved, and was the role suitable for you in terms of the kind of work you were doing. Secondly, the fact that they did not notify you of promotion opportunities.
As per Flowery's response - my understanding is that you should have been notified of the new position which was created whilst you were on maternity leave. If the company has not notified you of this opportunity then you have been at a disadvantage to your fellow colleagues and therefore treated less favourably due to your maternity.
The delegation of duties is tricky one, especially as your t&c's have remained the same - therefore your key concern is that you were not offered the opportunity to apply for the promotion. I would focus on this point, rather than whether you have been demoted or not. As your T&C's have remained the same it is hard to define. Depending on what happens, it may be viewed as constructive dismissal.
Good luck with the remainder of the grievance process.
Thanks everyone. And good to hear from you again Drifa.
I hear what you are saying about concentrating on not being notified of the position.
I'm still at home on sick. The union is trying to help find me a new position on the account. The account director notified the union of 2 positions they were struggling to fill and suggested i apply. (obviously they won't just give me a new role as that may imply that they are admitting guilt) - when i immediately applied the positions were mysteriously no longer available.
I have had my second stage grievance meeting with work, it seems work are pushing the fact that i never asked for any KIT days. My response is that if i knew a reorganisation was taking place i would have asked for KIT days. I have been told that works official response will be delayed due to the investigating manager being on leave.
We are supposed to be having the Case Management discussion on the 30th september. (this will be the 3rd CMD - i believe the Judge has said that they have to have completed the internal procedures by this date)