Is this fair? Maternity discrimination query!(6 Posts)
This could be a long one, so please bear with me...
My SIL is expecting her first DS in June and currently works for a car dealership as a salesperson. Since telling her employer about the pregnancy they've been dreadful - making her change her days off to go for her scans, telling her she couldn't have time off for midwife appointments (and that she should make them for her days off - Sundays! - or after work, when she finishes at 6) and just generally being awful towards her. I am so angry on her behalf that she is being treated like this, and have told her she is being discriminated against and should bring a case against them.
The latest is that they've forced her to sign an agreement which states that she must return the car they provide her with as part of her job (a demo car which usually changes every 3 months as part of her job) for inspection or sale with 72 hours notice from their side otherwise they would take this benefit from her. However, the issue is she's moving to live near her family which is a 3.5hr drive away (on a good day) and if they're going to be as twuntish as they have been so far, they could be asking her to bring it back every week for "inspection" which seems incredibly unreasonable to me
and hell on earth if you end up with a DS like mine who hates being in the car and is capable of screaming for a whole 2 hour journey.
My question is whether anyone knows if this all above board and just something she'll have to deal with if she wants to keep the car, or does anyone think she has any sort of argument against this?
Any advice gratefully received!
All non-pay contractual benefits must continue during statutory maternity leave including a company car ... (from gov.UK).
If they try and remove the car as a benefit, they're breaking the law.
Well yes the provision of a car as a benefit has to continue during her mat leave, but as long as they're swapping it for another car, then that's fine.
How often does this happen to her and others at the moment? If she can demo an unusual pattern during mat leave then she might have a case for less favourable treatment. She needs to log (even retrospectively ) every time she was asked to change her ante natal appointments etc, as that is unlawful.
I gather it is her choice to move away to be near family during her mat leave? I guess that's a risk she takes with the 72 hour recall rule.
I used to work for the finance part of a large car manufacturer and in most cases the demos used as courtesy cars, the ones the sales team drive around and all of the stock sitting in the showroom are not owned by the dealer - they are on finance and owned by the manufacturer until sold. Part of my job was going into dealers and checking that they hadn't been selling a car, keeping the cash and not settling the finance. I would regularly ask for cars to be brought in for me to inspect if people were on their days off - especially if there were concerns about the financial health of the dealer.
It is therefore entirely reasonable that they tell the OP's SIL that they want a car brought in with 72 hours notice. The demos are not "company cars" - they are stock which might be sold. As someone else said though they would have to swap it for something else when it was handed back. It is common practice in the motor trade for sales people and dealer staff to swap cars every 6 weeks or more as things are bought and sold. The decision to move so far away is entirely up to the employee and there are consequences to that.
The stuff about changing midwife appointments and making up time is not on though.
I'm interested to know if she is the only person who has been asked to sign this piece of paper?
Is she writing this all down as it happens? UK law states that they must give her time off for appointments. If she can create a paper trail then that will help massively. I think they want her to quit so they don't have to pay maternity leave.
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