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Any advice pleasee(9 Posts)
Hi all, wanted to pop on and ask for some advice from those that have dealt with something similar.
I am due to start maternity leave in the coming months and because of this my boss has had to find cover for my post.
I had a phone call today where I was told that my boss is going to employ two people on 16 hour contracts starting next week and my working hours are to be reduced by half in order to secure funds to be able to pay them from Monday.
I know that I can disagree to the change in hours as I've already contacted ACAS regarding it, but they were unclear on what would happen if my boss was unwilling to reconsider her decision other than I could take legal action for discrimination.
What are my options here and has anyone experienced a similar situation? We have a meeting tomorrow to discuss this but it's being put forward as something I have no say in, so I know my rebuff of changes isn't going to be welcomed . Feeling very stressed!
So they are proposing to change your hours before you go on mat leave? What a bizarre thing to do!
Does your company have an enhanced maternity leave policy (do they pay extra above the statutory maternity pay) because I would think you have already qualified for that at the full time rate if you are very close to taking mat leave.
They don't pay extra and I'm still in the 15th week window of them calculating maternity pay based on earnings, so any changes would affect that.
It's more the fact that the other staff members that are being employed to cover for me, will be collectively working more hours than I will if these changes go ahead. Surely that's not right!
I've had a nightmare with my boss in general during pregnancy and I've just come to find out she's promoted a less senior member of staff over me and told them to keep it a secret, all without telling either of us that a higher position was available so I'm a bit annoyed about the whole situation, really!
they were unclear on what would happen if my boss was unwilling to reconsider her decision other than I could take legal action for discrimination
Its best not to predict what will happen, until you've had the conversation. Make it clear to your manager that you are not happy being told that your contractual hours are being changed. Let them do the talking. Take notes and then you can decide where to take it.
Unless you're on a zero hours contract (which it doesn't sound like) they can't change your hours without you agreeing to it, and to do so based entirely on your pregnancy could be discrimination. Ultimately maternity cover is a cost that a business has to bear and if they are choosing to employ 2 people to cover your role that is their problem not yours. If your hours changing now could affect the amount of maternity pay you can get then I suggest you get advice from acas or a lawyer asap.
"It's more the fact that the other staff members that are being employed to cover for me, will be collectively working more hours than I will if these changes go ahead. Surely that's not right!"
That's not really relevant. What's relevant to you is what they are attempting to do to your hours. If they want to employ maternity cover staff who will collectively work for more hours than you currently do, that's their decision and that's fine.
Cutting your hours is the thing which is not fine.
Say that having taken advice you understand that your consent is required in order to change your terms and conditions of employment, and you are not prepared to consent to this proposal. Say you are concerned that your pregnancy/maternity leave is the reason for this attempt to cut your hours and reduce your pay, which would obviously be unlawful discrimination.
Say that you remain fully available for work for your contractual hours, and if they refuse to let you work or reduce your pay, you will bring a grievance for unlawful discrimination and unlawful deductions from pay.
Thank you for all of your replies. It's really put my mind at ease for this meeting.
Okay, update after the meeting.
She has decided to make my current post redundant for the amount of hours I work (40) and drop me to 25, then give my maternity cover 16 hour contracts. Can she do this? It's not that the work isn't there, she's just giving it to members of staff that are suppose to cover my leave.
She basically gave me the options of being forced into redundancy or accepting a contract that will be detrimental to me.
She kept saying that everyone's contract is changing so I'm not the only one affected, however the only other person that works here is still on the same hours as before, so I am the one one NEGATIVELY affected.
Speak to your lawyer or union rep. You are being discriminated against due to your pregnancy.