Job relocated 2 weeks before maternity starts

(9 Posts)
AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:01:38

I'm looking for some advice as to where I stand with a change in my job two weeks before I'm due to go on maternity leave.

I work for a company which has 3 branches and whilst I work for the group, I am based in the branch which is closest to my home - a 10 minute max drive. The job is flexible and allows for me to drop my son at school and head to work straight after that starting at 9.30am. I finish at 4.30pm and am then able to collect him from a child minder before 5pm which keeps the costs down.

The branch I am based in (as per my contract) has been sold. This means that I have been told that whilst I have retained my job when I return from maternity leave, I will have to work out of one of the other branches. The option is now a 45 minute commute each way or an hour and a half. This means that when I return to work I will need to get a childminder to take my baby earlier than I anticipated and they will also need to take my son to school. The childminder will also have to have the baby and my son for a longer day as well, which will obviously cost a lot more and mean I earn less. Added to that I will also incur additional travel costs which I didn't have to factor in before.

Can anyone advise if there is anything I can do about this or is it just a case of accepting the circumstances and dealing with it?

Also, if I were to resign, do I need to go back for at least a month at the end of my maternity leave before I hand my notice in?

Any words of wisdom would be great.


OP’s posts: |
flowery Mon 11-Jun-18 12:14:47

Is there any clause in your contract about relocating at all?

Are you saying you would prefer to be made redundant? Because that's the alternative really. They are clearly allowed to close a branch if they choose to do so, it's only whether your role is redundant or whether relocation is reasonable.

When deciding whether a position at an alternative location is reasonable in a redundancy situation, personal circumstances are relevant and should be taken into account. Sometimes businesses pay additional travel costs for a defined period of time to ease the transition.

AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:18:07

Thank you. I don't know what I'm saying really, I've been working in the same position at the same location for 7 years now so it's all a bit of a shock and something I didn't see coming.

Totally understand that they are allowed to close a branch and essentially no one has done anything wrong. I just want to get my head around what my options are while I'm on maternity leave so that when I return I can make an informed decision which is right for me and my family.

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AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:18:38

I doubt there's anything in my contract about relocating. It's not a very detailed contract.

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flowery Mon 11-Jun-18 12:25:25

I don't think you can take your maternity leave to think about options in terms of whether you relocate or take redundancy, because if you want to argue redundancy then it needs to be at the point the branch closes, not several months down the line.

You mention having to return for a month after maternity leave - I assume you are going to receive some kind of enhanced maternity pay and that a condition of that is that you return to work for a month? You will need to check your maternity policy carefully to see if this still applies if you are redundant, and/or you can ask about that.

I suggest you also ask about the possibility of adjusting your hours to minimise the impact on you, working from home some of the time if that's possible, and travel/other additional expenses being paid for a period. Also ask what happens if you don't want to relocate.

Get some answers to all those questions, and that will help you decide. If you want to argue that your position is redundant, you'll need to do that pretty soon.

AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:37:21

Ok thank you, that's really helpful.

I don't want to argue my position is redundant because I don't believe it is really. However, I do have a feeling that I will probably be made redundant when I return. I'm surprised that they haven't made me redundant but I have been given the impression from a few friends that it's difficult to make me redundant at this stage... not sure how accurate that is though.

I'm currently going through a very stressful and tricky stage in my pregnancy and really don't have the head space at the moment to be thinking about what my plans are when I return from maternity leave. I'm due to finish work in 2 weeks and this really has side blinded me and will have a massive impact on myself and my family. I was hoping to be able to discuss it after baby is born at one of my keep in touch days.

Maternity is SMP, but I do have a car and my mobile phone bill covered.

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AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:48:08

Also, to add to that. I have tried to schedule a meeting before my maternity leave date to get a better understanding of how they see my job working because at the moment all I've had is a 10 minute chat to tell me what's happening, but I have been told that none of the directors (who are my line managers) are available to talk with me.

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Bump3rcarz Mon 11-Jun-18 13:52:48

Get everything in writing that from x date your normal place of work will be y place. Ask in writing if the company will be paying you any relocation money and how much and for how long. If they are going to make anyone redundant they have to put this in writing too. However if you have a job at the new building, you are not redundant.

AKP79 Mon 11-Jun-18 14:18:46

Thank you. I've just spent my lunch break drafting a document with all my questions and asking for clarification on things I'm unsure on. I will send it to my directors at the end of the week so that even if I don't get a meeting face to face I have got something out there in writing.

I finish here next Wednesday... it's all a bit stressful and last minute - certainly explains why for the last 3 months I have been trying to get a meeting in the diary about my maternity leave and who will be covering and getting nowhere fast!!!

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