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Not allowed to be made redundant on mat leave?

(4 Posts)
NorthPolo Tue 02-Oct-12 15:51:38

I'm currently on mat leave but my fixed term contract ended in August. Officially though the money for the post ran out at the end of march and the person covering the role left then. I expected to be made redundant then as well but heard nothing and heard from a colleague that I was exempt from the round of redundancies because 'you can't make people on maternity leave redundant'.

Just before the contract ended in August HR contacted me to arrange a meeting to discuss my 'options'. This keeps being cancelled and I think they are stringing it out because it looks like someone else will be leaving and they will insist that I take this post as a suitable alternative. Are they allowed to keep someone on maternity leave until another post comes up? I would have preferred to have been made redundant but was told at the start of the year informally that the company doesn't like to pay out redundancy money and they would keep me on mat leave up to 12 months as it doesn't cost them anything.

I think HR are in the wrong here but don't really know what to do next. I think I will end up being forced into the alternative role.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Tue 02-Oct-12 15:54:29

It is possible to make someone on maternity leave redundant, yes. However, you get first priority for any alternative roles for which you are suitable (so if two people are at risk of redundancy and there is one role for redeployment, the person on maternity leave gets it if they are suitable, even if they other person is the better candidate).

You cannot be kept on maternity leave - but you aren't being are you? Have you asked to return to work?

If another post is offered to you and is suitable, you cannot opt for redundancy just because you would prefer to be made redundant. However, the new post has to be a pretty good fit for the rule to triggered. You don't have to accept a more junior role or whatever just because they offer it to you.

NorthPolo Tue 02-Oct-12 16:07:40

Thanks for replying. I thought you could be made redundant on mat leave and assumed this would happen when the contract ended / money ran out as I am not in any post now. I see what you're saying about requesting to return to work though - is it this that would trigger the redundancy process rather than the end of the contract?

I don't really mind going back, it's a nice place but this job that may come up is rather dull compared with others I have had there but officially it's probably suitable. If they offer it to me and i take the full 12 months leave do they have to find temporary cover for the post until I return? I haven't had to give a return to work date at any point as everyone thought there would be no role to return to. I would need the maximum leave in order to get nursery places sorted.

LillethTheCat Tue 02-Oct-12 16:15:40

I took voluntary redundancy when I was on maternity leave.

There was a big reshuffle as another company took us over and moved a lot of jobs to another town that was miles away (opposite end of the country) There were more jobs created too that you could apply for. I didn't apply for any and ticked the box to be considered for voluntary redundancies which I took. I didnt fancy any of the other jobs either. I was treated the same as anyone else working at the time.

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