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If I worked part time before maternity leave can employer insist I return full time?

(6 Posts)
INeedNewShoes Tue 07-Nov-17 20:07:09

The title says it all really. I've worked for my employer for more than ten years, initially full time but in 2015 I reduced my hours to three days a week.

I'm currently on maternity leave and I've become aware that my employer are going to request that I return full time and say that my part time post no longer exists.

Can they do this? Would it class as being made redundant if I am not willing/able to return full time?

hiyasminitsme Tue 07-Nov-17 20:07:43

Not a lawyer but I think probably if you've been off more than six months

daisychain01 Wed 08-Nov-17 02:52:51

Redundancy applies when the role duties disappear and are no longer needed. They are effectively saying they need the incumbent to do more hours not less, so it isn’t necessarily redundancy.

You mentioned you have become aware, but have they specified on what basis they are changing your hours - I.e. specifically said it’s a redundancy?

Does your contract of employment mention your hours, did they change it in 2015 to reflect you are a part time worker and that your hours reduced from Ft to Pt?

glow1984 Wed 08-Nov-17 03:16:17

We’re you issued a new contract when your hours were reduced? If not, then I think they can insist.

If redundancy, then your usual rights will apply.

INeedNewShoes Wed 08-Nov-17 07:21:54

I was issued a new contract. I need to dig it out and see what it says.

My main concern is that if I refuse now to go back full time at the end of my maternity leave then I'll effectively be resigning before my mat leave ends and l will lose out on payment for the amount of annual leave I was expecting to accrue over the full year I'd stated I'd be off.

In terms of the job itself it's not the end of the world not to return.

flowery Wed 08-Nov-17 18:55:41

You are entitled to return to your old job on the same terms and conditions, ie the same hours, or, if that isn't reasonably practicable, on a suitable alternative on no less favourable terms and conditions.

That doesn't mean that if there is a genuine redundancy situation they are not allowed to make you redundant - they are - but your maternity leave can't be a factor.

If the job you were doing has gone, then your position would be redundant. They can offer you alternative employment on full time hours, but you are not obliged to take it and refusing it wouldn't impact your redundancy pay.

If the job is the same but just more hours, then it's not the case that the need for the work has diminished or ceased, therefore it's not a redundancy situation.

They can't just decide to change your hours just because you happen to have been on maternity leave, your hours are just as much set in stone as anyone else's.

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