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Advice needed: Maternity-redundancy situation

(6 Posts)
fizzymilk Thu 01-Sep-11 03:35:35

Need some advice for a friend who is stressed out because of this situation.

Friend is on maternity leave. She has worked for this company for 6 years and is currently on maternity leave. She had
had difficult pregnancy and had pre term baby. Baby has health problems was in and out of
hospital for a few months. Was contacted by company to say restructuring going on and jobs being relocated.

Along with other colleagues friend was given few options and couple of months to decide (by May 2011(fictional date):
1) voluntary redundancy
2) relocate
3) look for other jobs within sister company
4) any jobs remaining in current section

A job opportunity (this role would not be relocated) came up within a different team in section she worked in and she applied for it.However, she did
not get the job, her colleague from her current team got the job. Qualification wise- she is more qualified but
neither of them have the experience for that specific role.

She requested feedback in writing but it was rejected saying she should phone instead. She has spoken to them about
wanting written feedback. Their response is that it will be better by phone. Her point is why can they not put the main points briefly in writing and she can follow up
if need be. Although she hasn't received
any written feedback or spoken by phone it turns out the reason why they did not pick her is because she did not
formally say she did not want to relocate at that point in time.The assumption being made is that colleague must have said no to
relocation. Note that the deadline for deciding whether to relocate was by May 2011 and the selection for the new job was january 2011
so clearly she had not run out of time. However, she was not informed of this clause at any time by the company.

She said that she had tried to enquire about this by internet, advice
bureaus etc and did not find this clause either.

Her manager has told her there is no role for her at the company so has suggested she liase with HR to apply for jobs in
sister companies. Essentially, she has been told over the years by management to apply for other jobs outside this
particular section as one of the managers doesn't like her face. This manager judges others like this. If that manager doesnt llike
joe bloggs nothing joe bloggs can do to change the situation. Due to the clout this manager has with senior
management nobody will ever challenge this.

She is also expected to fill out forms to apply for other jobs, ring various people in her office, reply and read emails practically everyday as the policy is to
put her in another position. She has spoken to HR about this who told her that due to restructure situation she needs to do this stuff.

I think they are trying to show that they have ticked all the right boxes while privately having another motive to push her out.Basically they want to do it in a timeframe of 4 months and if they can't they will
will issue her with 4 months notice of redundancy

What should she do? As mentioned before, she is soo stressed that it is affecting her health. She is not sleeping properly and getting migraines
. I've known her for a long time and have never seen her like this.

Surely they can't do this i.e. Keep hassaling her while she is on leave.

Please give me practical advice that i can pass onto her in terms of what she can do in this situation

hairylights Thu 01-Sep-11 06:44:44


Note that while on maternity leave if there is another position available that she can do, she should be offered it without application, whether or not someone else can do it.

"If you are made redundant whilst on Statutory Maternity Leave then you have special rights. You have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job in the company. This is even if there are other employees that might be more suitable for the job. If you are offered a new job, you are still entitled to the four-week trial period, which should start when you return from Statutory Maternity Leave."

hairylights Thu 01-Sep-11 06:45:42

If I were her I'd write to her HR department under the appeals/grievance procedure, quoting the legislation.

fizzymilk Thu 01-Sep-11 21:07:50

hairylights: She did quote this with HR and their response was because she was not at risk because she did not give a response at that point in time even though the deadline was much later.

Will ask her to try formal grievance process but she seems disillushioned by it as she mentioned once how flawed it was

hairylights Thu 01-Sep-11 21:54:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairylights Fri 02-Sep-11 14:29:21

"Along with other colleagues friend was given few options and couple of months to decide (by May 2011(fictional date):
1) voluntary redundancy
2) relocate
3) look for other jobs within sister company
4) any jobs remaining in current section"

Was she issued with an 'at risk' letter at that time?

If not I'm afraid she isn't considered to be at risk of redundancy, but part of a general consultancy on redundancy (IMHO) and is not therefore protected because she's on Mat Leave (that only kicks in when redundnacy of a role is definately happening).

I'm not entirely sure I've understood the sequence of events, but the woman is on maternity leave, and as I understand it, if she was 'at risk' or 'under notice' of reduncancy, any available equivalent post should have been offered to her, without the need to apply, even if there is someone else under notice of redundancy who could do the job as well or better.

If she was either 'at risk' or 'under notice' of redundancy at that time, the basic scenario seems to me to be that they have failed to do this and treated the woman who is on maternity leave in the same way that they have treated everyone else.

To my mind, they have therefore neglected their responsibilities to her, in her special circumstances.

Unless they were arguing that the job was not a suitable alternative.

Re-reading your OP, it seems (in terms of the timeline) that she could just be someone who applied for a job, but didn't get it. If she feels that she didn't get it on an unfair basis, ie: that she was not at that time 'at risk' or 'under notice' of reduncancy, then she needs to use the grievance procedure, which will set out the timescale in which they have to respond to the grievance.

Sorry I think I may have misunderstood the OP.

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