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Is this a legitimate reason for redundancy? Help!

(12 Posts)
MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 09:50:44


I have been selected for redundancy because my employer would basically prefer not to give me any of my role back on return from maternity leave, so there is no job for me to return to.

On day 1 after returning from AML, they told me I was at risk of redundancy but not the reason why I had been selected. After teasing the reasons out of them over the last week it appears they have a shortfall in revenue, need to lose a head and their solution is to leave my job farmed out to others within the company (as it was for the duration of my maternity leave) and make me redundant because there is no role to return to.

If this is legitimate doesn't it mean any company can get rid of anyone taking AML by refusing to hand their tasks back to them on return from ML even though the tasks still exist and still need doing?

It just seems to me that if I hadn't gone on maternity leave then I probably wouldn't be in this position now.

Seems fundamentally wrong to me.

Does anyone know if this sounds like a genuine redundancy situation?


trixymalixy Fri 28-Sep-12 09:59:01

It is wrong. They can't do this. There are laws in place to protect women coming back from maternity leave from this exact situation.

I would get some legal advice quickly. Do you have legal cover on your home insurance?

flowery Fri 28-Sep-12 10:52:22

Well, it certainly does happen that companies manage without maternity cover and find they can therefore lose a role altogether.

The question is whether it's fair in that case to select the woman who has returned from maternity leave or whether others should be included in a pool.

What's happened to your tasks? Are they still being done in exactly the same way, are there other people doing similar jobs who have absorbed them, and whose jobs you are equally capable of doing? In which case it may be that they should have been in a pool with you.

flowery Fri 28-Sep-12 10:56:34

What I mean is it's fine for a business to decide it needs fewer employees, and this decision may happen as a result of a woman's maternity leave, but if they do need fewer employees, they need to consult and if necessary use a pool and apply selection criteria.

MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 11:21:38

It's complicated - basically 20% of my role was given out to 12 different people based in different locations and the remainder was covered by my boss - a new hire put in place after I went on maternity leave.

They argue I have a unique role so there is no pool to select from.

flowery Fri 28-Sep-12 11:25:16

Ok. If 80% is being done by someone hired after you went on maternity leave I would say that's the justification for complaint definitely - either that you should both be in a pool or that you should have your job back and the other person be made redundant.

Was the person hired after you went a replacement for someone who had left, or a new role entirely? If they've created a new role after you went on maternity leave that is 80% your role, that's an issue definitely.

MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 11:27:23

Sorry Flowery, to answer the other questions you asked - my tasks are done in exactly the same way but just by different people. The 12 other people who took on some of my work each do jobs I am capable of doing (but are in different locations to me) and indeed they do a role I have done in the past and being highly rated for.

The bulk of my role has gone to my boss - who is more experienced than me but whose job I could do with a bit of training - though it doesn't seem right she would be placed in a pool with me because her total role is wider than mine.

MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 11:30:52

The 80% is being done by a new role created as I was going on maternity leave. I think they filled the role before I went on maternity leave but the person only started the day after I started my maternity leave.

MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 11:45:33

Oh and just one more thing...there is absolutely no way my boss can manage to absorb the tasks of mine given to her in addition to her existing workload. It's too much to do. She was barely coping with it while I was on maternity leave.

I would say the tasks of mine passed to my boss form a role in their own right. And I am sure they will have to hire additional staff to help with this workload.

flowery Fri 28-Sep-12 13:15:13

Whether her workload is too much and ought to be split into two roles is a business decision, not for you. However if they created a new role where there wasn't one previously, and that role was covering 80% of your maternity leave, you certainly have an argument that either she should be redundant rather than you, or that at least you should both be in a pool together. You then have a separate argument that if they need one less of whatever your job title is, why are you not in a pool with the other 12 people who do that job.

MicroTablet Fri 28-Sep-12 14:12:00

That's really useful Flowery thanks very much.

So just to be 100% sure I go back to them with something they won't just laugh at, should I query their rationale for selecting me on the following grounds.

"I am unclear on the reason my role has been selected for redundancy. I note that you have stated that my role is unique and is therefore a pool of one meaning no selection criteria need to be applied. However isn't there an argument that as my role is essentially being split in two and divided between 2 different job roles the should pool include both of these roles too? With a selection process to determine who is best placed to fill the roles available? "

Is this correct?

flowery Fri 28-Sep-12 18:10:22

Don't say 'isn't there are argument' because they'll say er no. grin

Also don't say it as a question, as if you are assuming they are the authority and will have the answer. Say it as a statement of fact instead. You could even say something like 'I understand that as my role is essentially... etc etc'

If you say 'I understand that' it sounds like you have taken advice wink and are speaking from an informed position rather than speculating.

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