There are lots of changes happening at work and I'm worried. I'm coming to the end of my second mat leave, due to return in a month's time. I worked full time for the company prior to my first DC and then returned 2 days a week inbetween children.
I assumed (probably naively in hindsight) that my current working arrangement of 2 days would be protected for my return. I will have taken 12 months leave, so I understand that my original job may not be available, but that I must be offered a comparable role. However, does this comparable role have to be for the same hours?
A part-time colleague has been asked to increase her hours from September and I am worried that they will do the same for me. I asked my line manager a month ago if I could change my working days on my return to fit in with new childcare arrangements. She said she was busy and didn't get back to me; I had to prompt her; she then wanted to discuss things on the phone and now face to face, so I know something is up.
I'm going in for a meeting tomorrow.
Does anyone know if your employer can say that you have to increase your hours or let you go?
I'd be really grateful for any advice from anyone who knows a bit more about employment law than me, or has been through something similar.
You are not naive to think your working arrangement should be the same - you are absolutely right. After 12 months they don't have to offer you the exact same job if that's not practicable, but they do have to offer you something on the same terms and conditions, so they can't make you increase your hours.
on the other hand they don't have to agree to change your working days because you've decided to change your childcare. You could put in a flexible working request to do this but they don't have to agree it if they can give business reasons why not.
If there isn't a suitable role available for you they may be able to make you redundant, but it can't be because of your maternity leave, and if there was restructuring or similar happening while you were on mat leave that would have affected your job you should have been involved.