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Redundancy and mat leave

(11 Posts)
lindsayville Wed 10-Jun-15 23:52:35

Hi a young work colleague ha been made redundant whilst on maternity leave. Her maternity pay and redundancy was all paid upfront in one lump sum which she has received. She hasn't been offered any roles in the company even though similar jobs have been advertised and filled by others. She was told by management she no longer is an employee and if she wants to apply for a vacancy in the company she has to end her maternity early. Is this lawful I thought she should have been offered a role similar to what she did before.

FishWithABicycle Wed 10-Jun-15 23:57:47

That doesn't sound lawful but I'm not an expert. Is she the only person doing the role she was previously doing? My understanding is that any redundancy of someone taking mat leave will almost always be judged unlawful and discriminatory unless the entire team/branch/dept are going too.

flowery Thu 11-Jun-15 09:46:35

"My understanding is that any redundancy of someone taking mat leave will almost always be judged unlawful and discriminatory unless the entire team/branch/dept are going too."

Not at all. It's perfectly lawful to make someone on maternity leave redundant, as long as it is a genuine redundancy situation and their maternity leave was not all or part of the reason for the decision.

There is additional protection in that if, at the time the post is redundant, there is a suitable alternative vacancy available, the woman on maternity leave must be offered it.

OP were these other jobs suitable and available at the time your colleague was made redundant? Or have they come up since? If it was since her employment ended then management are right in that she is no longer an employee and she doesn't have any right to preferential treatment.

Now her employment has ended, it's up to her when she ends her maternity leave and goes back to work, either to a new post at her old employer or somewhere else. If she applies for a job during her maternity leave she can ask the prospective employer to delay her start date to enable her to spend more time with her child, but they are not obliged to allow that. She won't be "on maternity leave" from a new employer (whether it is the same employer as she used to be with or a different one) so she won't have the right to decide to "return" after up to a year off as she would if she was on maternity leave but still employed.

The questions basically are was it a genuine, fair redundancy situation, and were these other jobs suitable and available at the time her employment ended?

Athenaviolet Thu 11-Jun-15 09:51:36

Sounds like they shafted her.

It happens the tens of thousands of women a year.

Now it costs £500 to go to tribunal (thanks Tories!) employers are basically free to break the law at will.

It's shite.

lindsayville Thu 11-Jun-15 12:00:18

They have come up since she was paid off. She wasn't given a chance to say how she wanted her maternity it was just all paid into her account. There was a few others put on redundancy at the time they all have now got there jobs back but they didn't receive a redundancy pay off just letters of redundancy. The company works to tenders so there was a delay in one tender ending and the next one starting hence redundancy.

flowery Thu 11-Jun-15 12:19:56

Ok well after her employment ends she is not entitled to preferential treatment however if suitable jobs came up very quickly after she was paid off, and perhaps she was paid off quicker than everyone else, or there is reason to believe the new jobs were there or they knew they were coming up, then she may have an argument.

Was there any reason to think the initial redundancy was unfair, or not genuine?

lindsayville Thu 11-Jun-15 15:03:52

No about 10 people got letters she was the only one who got paid off. someone doing a similar post to her got the job she had a date to end her contract but hadn't yet left. I don't think they have any reason to treat her unfairly but seems not very right what there doing to her.she finished work around April these new posts are happening for about 5 to 6 weeks now

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Thu 11-Jun-15 22:34:02

Is she in a union?

lindsayville Fri 12-Jun-15 12:46:07

No we don't have a union

flowery Fri 12-Jun-15 13:07:59

It might be an idea for her to see if she can speak to an employment lawyer about the details, and establish whether there is cause for concern about their actions and how they've handled things.

Lunastarfish Sun 14-Jun-15 11:28:34

This sounds a little suspicious but could be lawful. I would though recommend she sees a solicitor asap. Do not delay as there are strict time limits.

On a separate point - you can be a member of a trade union irrespective if your employer recognises a union. The employer Durant need to know you are in a union

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