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Full time maternity cover for part time role.(3 Posts)
I have put this on the going back to work section, but thought with hindsight more of a possible employment issue.
I am working part time and am 20 weeks pregnant. The job has always been part time but very much with a full time workload. I have managed it (got good appraisals etc). In discussing my maternity cover recruitment, my boss is adamant at she wants to recruit a full time maternity cover based in the office, which was a complete shock. I currently work one day a week in the office and the rest at home which is reflected in my contract. Am just a bit concerned that after maternity leave, it will be difficult for me to go back to my part time role working mainly from home, as a precedent will have been set possibly to say full time works better for the organisation and that I would have to work full time. Can they do this? If they did do this would I get redundancy money?
The reason I am concerned is that historically, the organisation doesn't like part timers (the only other part timer was made redundant a few years ago) and the reason that my post came into being is that I was recruited before my manager joined the organisation, and at the time there was not the budget for a full timer.. I really don't feel I could work full time in the office (with two small children), and part time work in my field is very hard to come by - marketing.
It could be that your boss wants someone office based and full time because they will be new to the role. You are able to complete your role part time and from home, perhaps because you are more experienced in it. It might not mean planned changes for you. If your contract states your hours, these cannot be changed without consultation, and you could be entitled to redundancy if your employer proposed increasing your hours to full time (how many hours do you work currently?) I would also think your place of work is now fixed as home, and unless you have a mobility clause in your contract enabling your employer to change your place of work, you again would likely be entitled to redundancy if your employer wanted to change this. So basically, yes they can change your hours and place of work (providing they have good business reason - which is quite easy to prove) but would need to consult with you and probably you would be entitled to redundancy. If you are concerned (not forgetting there might not even be an issue here) could you perhaps start thinking about whether there is a compromise here, in case you are asked to work more office based hours? Could you perhaps work more hours in the office when you return on the basis some flexibility is better than none?
Talk to them about it. You may find there still isn't the budget, permanently, for a full timer, but this is a canny way to clear a bit of backlog without having to commit to the extra cost long term. Or it may be partly to compensate for the time needed for handover at the beginning and end of your maternity leave.
And your employment rights are protected while you're on maternity leave, and that certainly includes changes to working patterns (either contracted or custom-and-practice) that would make your position untenable.
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