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Discrimination? Returning from maternity leave

(18 Posts)
BigChocolateOrange Mon 09-Dec-13 18:09:27

Hi all,

Would appreciate some advice on this situation because I'm not sure if I'm over thinking things. This is currently a hypothetical situation but there is a strong chance it could become a reality so I'd like to be prepared.

Basically me and my partner have split up. One of the catalysts was a close connection he has with a colleague which I was always suspicious of and which he never did anything to reassure me about.

We all work in the same department at work. I am a line manager, and when I went on Mat leave I had 13 people in my team, some of whom I've managed for years. ExP and his lady friend are both advisors. I will have had 9 months off so am aware that I am not guaranteed a return to my exact same position etc. However, without blowing my own trumpet I am a highly valued line manager, arguably the best in the site (I'm always given pilot projects to test, am responsible for developing and progressing approx half of the other line managers, have stood in for various managers whilst they're on holiday etc, in short there's no reason anyone would want to move me, I'm bloody good!) and my manager has always said that he would want me back in his department.

The crux of the issue is that I'm worried that I'll be asked to move departments as a result of my relationship breakdown, because it's easier to move me straight into another dept upon my return. I want to know if this would count as discrimination or not? The reason I ask is that if I hadn't been on mat leave it would not be me that would be moved. It's much easier to move an advisor or two into another team in another department than it is to take a line manager away from 12/13 advisors who they have built a relationship with and swap them with another line manager who would also be being removed from a team of their own.

Am I being too dramatic? I really can't tell!

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 09-Dec-13 18:11:00

Did you take 6 or 12 months Mat leave?

WipsGlitter Mon 09-Dec-13 18:11:10

Have you spoken to work about it?

BigChocolateOrange Mon 09-Dec-13 18:12:34

9 months, and no not yet, I wanted to ask before I speak to them.

BigChocolateOrange Mon 09-Dec-13 20:08:30

Any ideas anyone?!

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 09-Dec-13 20:29:25

If you take more than 6 months I believe they can offer you the same type of role, not necessarily the same role.

Why do you think they will move you?

BigChocolateOrange Mon 09-Dec-13 21:06:54

To prevent any potential animosity in the department.

mariefab Tue 10-Dec-13 03:19:29

The starting point is that, if you take up to 12 months maternity leave, you are entitled to return to the role you held before your leave started.

Your employer could only move you to a suitable alternative role if this isn't 'reasonably practicable'.
This would apply if, for example, your earlier role no longer exists because of a restructure.

Preventing potential animosity is not a good enough reason to deny your statutory right to return to your former role.
This is employment not a schoolyard.
The employer would need evidence that you wouldn't be capable of behaving professionally before considering such a step.
Is there any?

FloweryTaleofNewYork Tue 10-Dec-13 08:48:04

If it would be perfectly easy to return you to your original role, there would be no justification for not doing so.

So first thing to look for is whether they could argue that it's not practicable. How is your role being covered at present?

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 08:56:20

Do you have a return date yet or are you taking the full 12 months?

I think you are overthinking this. Your manager wants you back and legally they should give you the same role back unless not practical.

But - do you want things to change? Are you feeling ok about managing your ex?

whereisshe Tue 10-Dec-13 08:58:25

Have you used up your KIT days yet? If not, I would use them to go in and have some meetings with both your manager and HR about the plan for your return.

Although I would normally say any relationship issues are yours to address not your employer, if they have accepted it as an issue that they will deal with then have a professional conversation with them about it and make it clear that you expect to return to your previous department, not be moved.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 09:02:14

I mean...Your OP is predicated on the fact that either you orXP plus colleague will be moving teams on your return - what if you all stay in the same team as company might struggle to "forcibly" transfer them.

BigChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 11:24:46

Luckily I don't actually manage either of them directly, I'm a level above them both but in the same department. My role has been covered by a secondment. You're right, I probably am overthinking things but I do like to panic!

BigChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 11:25:57

And I'd be ok with going back there, I'm just worried they might think there'll be an issue.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 13:01:47

I really think it'll be fine, and I also think it's unlikely they'd do anything other than discuss the issue with you - certainly I don't think they'd "unilaterally" reassign you.

BigChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 13:59:52

I hope so. Reading this back I do feel a bit like I've flapped for no reason blush

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 18:06:04

Aww, don't worry - sounds like you've had a hell of a time of it flowers

Stokey Wed 11-Dec-13 14:56:29

IN terms of giving you the same job back "if reasonably practical" - it is pretty easy for an employer to argue that it is not reasonably practical if they want to do so. Equally hard for you to prove and probably not worth it as long as they are giving you a similar job.

So the six months/ longer does make a difference. But sounds like you'll be ok

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