Redundancy on maternity leave! Flowery, help!(6 Posts)
Currently on maternity leave and was called into meeting at work today, basically given the ultimatum to go full time (currently part time) or my job is at risk of redundancy. Demand on the team have increased hence why they need a full timer. Theyve already made another part timer redundant in another office after she was given the same option and declined going ft.
The ft job is sold as slightly more senior and would be a challenge for me (which i know i wouldnt recieve support for - been set up by manager before to fail if you see what i mean!) although they've worded JD to include a lot of my skills. But FT hours which i didnt want, also travel accross uk which would be increasingly difficult with two children.
My manager didnt have any figures to review in relation to ft salary / redundancy pay but said to go away and think about it (all very vague!). Feel like im being blackmailed into working full time (pt hours are hard to come by in the industry), but in all honesty feel they are trying to get rid of me (had difficult relationship with mgr over years - bullying, grievance raised, had problems when told her i was suffering with anxiety due to her demands on me etc). Told it will be a settlement agreement rather than redundancy (normal in our industry) so ill have to wave goodbye to any claims of unfair dismissal etc so im concious of everything i need to consider before progressing.
Flowery i know your well respected here and would appreciate any advice, likewise from anyone else who is able to help. Hate that i have this lingering over me while im on maternity leave
If they're already talking settlement agreements then they will pay for your legal advice. Part of your lawyer's job will be not just to check the terms of the agreement are lawful but also that they are in your best interest.
It does sound like they are trying to get rid of you but you do have some extra protections on maternity leave if you are being made redundant. Obviously a settlement agreement would make that irrelevant.
I would write (email is usually fine) asking them to outline exactly what they are offering you and that you need to be clear regarding your position.
Is your organisation subject to collective bargaining agreements? Do you have a Union?
Check your home (and also sometimes motor bizarrely) insurance to see if you have any legal advice included - it's usually a helpline.
If you need to speak to someone now, then Maternity Action are very good.
A settlement or compromise agreement would normally come with a pay off - agree they need to state what they are offering you in writing, probably with a Without Prejudice at the top.
<not law or HR but have helped friends in this process - I defer to the qualified though!>
"Demand on the team have increased"
That is the opposite of a redundancy situation. The requirement for work needs to have diminished or ceased in order for it to be a genuine redundancy situation. If you combine a not-genuine redundancy situation with the fact that you are on maternity leave and also part time (cannot be treated less favourably because of your part time status, including being made redundant), then there's plenty of potential for a decent settlement here.
I would suggest you write back to your manager saying that as work levels have increased rather than diminished you do not feel this is a genuine redundancy situation; you are concerned by the fact this is happening while you are on maternity leave and whether this was a factor in their decision which would of course be unlawful, and are also concerned that their decision also seems to be motivated by your part time status, which again would be unlawful.
Then ask for their proposal in terms of a settlement. Making noises about non-genuine redundancy, maternity discrimination and less favourable treatment due to part time status ought to 'bump up' their offer somewhat. Then take it to a solicitor (which they should pay for) and see whether they think the offer is sufficient.
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