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MNHQ here. Sign in for another FREE legal advice clinic about pregnancy, maternity or parental issues at work from Maternity Action

(49 Posts)

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AnnaCMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Jul-19 13:40:32

You may remember Mumsnet and Maternity Action teamed up to provide an online legal clinic, offering free advice. We got such positive feedback we’re doing it again.

From Monday Mumsnet and Maternity Action are providing an online legal clinic, offering free advice on pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work from volunteer employment solicitors and barristers who are members of the Employment Lawyers Association.
Maternity Action reports huge demand for its advice line, especially topics such as redundancy during maternity leave, return to work, maternity pay and rights during pregnancy, and on Mumsnet's Talk forums, the topic of employment rights is a hardy perennial.

The clinic will respond to this demand in a hopefully innovative way, providing free, accurate, public advice online and raising awareness of parents' rights at work. It will also enable Maternity Action and Mumsnet to identify trends and produce permanent content to address areas in which employers and workers could benefit from clear, upfront guidance.

The clinic will take place on this thread in the form of a 'Q&A' session. Users can post questions about their employment rights dilemmas relating to pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work. Specialist solicitors and barristers will take necessary additional detail via private messaging before posting up answers and advice.
The clinic will run for a week from this Monday for five days until Friday 12th July. We will do our best to provide all answers during the week but, at the latest, by the Monday of the following week. You can find information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended here.

What to do if you’d like to post a question
If you have a question about your rights at work during pregnancy, maternity or parental leave please post it online during the week of the clinic. Please give as much information as possible but remember that this is an online forum and can be viewed by the public – including your colleagues and employer. You can use the private message facility to disclose any information you would prefer to keep off the public forums.

Please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to the user MaternityActionfreeadvice so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check. We cannot post a reply until you have sent this information by private message.

Once your advice has been posted online, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback. This helps us to find out whether you found the advice helpful, whether it helped you to resolve your situation at work and some information about you. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Providing feedback will help us to see what improvements can be made in developing this type of online free legal advice clinic. You can fill out the survey here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KVPGBFF

Ts and Cs – please read
The advice provided to an individual poster is based only on the information provided by that poster. Advice on this thread is also particular to the individual who has asked for it and is likely to be specific to that person’s situation. A poster may have provided further relevant information by private message which will not appear on this thread. So please take care if you choose to apply that advice to your own situation - it is recommended that you first take legal advice from one of the sources we suggest here.

Mumsnet, Maternity Action and Maternity Action's volunteers accept no liability for any loss suffered as a result of an individual choosing to follow advice provided to another poster's question on the thread.

The lawyers, all of whom are specialists in employment law, will be working as volunteers for Maternity Action in respect of the clinic. Any personal information collected as a result of the clinic will be held by Maternity Action and will be deleted after 18 months. If you wish to make a complaint about the service you received, you can use Maternity Action’s complaints policy here.

Grimbles Fri 05-Jul-19 19:47:16

Is anyone able to help me clarify my understanding of the law when it comes to possible redundancy whilst on Maternity Leave? I work for a large company (100+ employees) that has to cut x amount from the budget which means between 2 and 5 people from my team are at risk.

I am currently on maternity leave and from what I've read it says that although I can be made redundant, my employer has to offer me a suitable alternative job if one comes up, and also i have a right to be notified of all vacancies. My questions are:

Who decides what a 'suitable alternative' is? E.g. if there was a job but my employer didn't think it was suitable or that i was qualified to do it, but I believe I would be, what would happen there?

With regard to be notified of all vacancies, are there any rules about how you should be notified? Apparently monthly emails are being sent to work emails but I was not told of this and cant log into my work email anyway. Do I have any rights to complain about this?

Thanks

ColdCottage Sat 06-Jul-19 22:26:50

I've been calling their help line for a couple of weeks. Caking between 2 and 15 times a day. I've still not managed to get through.

Perhaps MN can give them some funding for more call handlers?

ColdCottage Sat 06-Jul-19 22:34:07

My question is if as an employer how can I over see my employees work whilst still on Maternity leave. I'm not working as such but I'm their employer so I can't just disappear.

In order to claim Maternity allowance it says I'm not allowed to work. Does this count as work? I won't be paying myself for it.

Also I don't have a salary as I work for myself and my income comes in 2-10 months after I do the work so will have income coming in while I'm on MAT leave. How does this work?

My income fluctuates depending on when these chunks of cash come in. How does this work with them calculating my income for the set week to work our what my MAT pay should be?

Thank you.

Timeforsinging81 Sun 07-Jul-19 08:14:37

I am on maternity leave and have been informed of a promotion opportunity however I don't think my manager wants me to apply because they need someone in post ASAP. My line manager has not been in touch about the promotion himself but I have been informed about it by another manager. I have only been told about the post a few days before application closes so I think any other applicants will have had more time to complete an application. Also, one of the other applicants has a job offer elsewhere and I think they will give her the promotion to prevent her leaving.

I strongly believe that I would not get the post. I applied and interviewed for another promotion whilst pregnant and was rejected despite being equal with the candidate that got the job so I think my imminent mat leave was a factor but I wouldn't be able to prove that.

Should I discuss my concerns with my manager prior to interview or ask if I have a fair chance? Or should I apply, interview and then persue a discrimination case if I am unsuccessful in getting the promotion? How would discrimination be proved? How/who would judge whether I was better or worse than the other candidates in a discrimination case? I think interviews in this sector are points based but surely it would be easy to just mark me down or inflate the other candidates points if they were wanting to make them appear to be the better choice?

FrenchHen Mon 08-Jul-19 07:13:58

I found out that my position is being redundant at some undefined date in the near future. The next day I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant.
I haven't had any official notification of the redundancy yet, I am planning on telling my boss about the pregnancy today - I am now 13 weeks.
Will this change anything?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Jul-19 10:55:50

It might be one to consider for our Christmas fundraising appeal - we'll stick it on the list (we're going to be consulting MNers about which charities to choose later on in the year)

ColdCottage

I've been calling their help line for a couple of weeks. Caking between 2 and 15 times a day. I've still not managed to get through.

Perhaps MN can give them some funding for more call handlers?

MaternityActionELAfreeadvice Mon 08-Jul-19 12:25:53

Dear ColdCottage

I'm very sorry you have not been able to get through to Maternity Action. We are a small charity and we know there is huge demand for our advice line.

We have recently been successful in getting funding to expand our service and have added a new regional advice line. We hope this will make it easier for callers to get through and we will continue to try to expand our service:

Maternity Rights Advice Line (National - except London) - 0808 802 0029 - Every weekday 10am to 1pm

Maternity Rights Advice Line (London residents) - 0808 802 0057 - Every weekday, except Wednesday, 10am to 1pm

Best wishes,

Maternity Action

ColdCottage

I've been calling their help line for a couple of weeks. Caking between 2 and 15 times a day. I've still not managed to get through.

Perhaps MN can give them some funding for more call handlers?

MaternityActionELAfreeadvice Mon 08-Jul-19 12:26:40

Dear ColdCottage
Thank you for posting your query on our online legal clinic. The JobCentre Plus allow you to work for up to ten days during your Maternity Allowance (MA) period without losing any MA. After that you can be disqualified from MA for a reasonable period depending on how many days you used to work e.g. if you worked 5 days a week but only do a day's work a week (after completing ten days' work) you should only be disqualified from 1/7th of your MA each week. If you return to your normal working pattern, after ten days' work, you would probably lose the rest of your MA as you would be counted as being back at work.

What counts as work during your maternity leave usually means any work you normally do, so as an employer it could include supervision and oversight of the business, regardless of whether this is paid work. It is difficult to advise on this because the JobCentre Plus will decide whether it counts as a day of work and reduce your MA according to the rules above. The rules mean that it is best to do as much work as possible on one day, rather than half an hour on each day, because any day on which you do a small amount of work is going to count as 'a day of work'.

Finally, payment for work done before your maternity leave does not count as 'work during your maternity leave'. Income received during your leave for work done before you went on leave should not affect your MA. You can only be disqualified from MA based on days of work during your leave under the rules above. If you think you have been wrongly refused MA and you want to challenge a JobCentre Plus decision you should ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 28 days of the disqualification and, if necessary, you can appeal the decision.

I hope that helps.

ColdCottage

My question is if as an employer how can I over see my employees work whilst still on Maternity leave. I'm not working as such but I'm their employer so I can't just disappear.

In order to claim Maternity allowance it says I'm not allowed to work. Does this count as work? I won't be paying myself for it.

Also I don't have a salary as I work for myself and my income comes in 2-10 months after I do the work so will have income coming in while I'm on MAT leave. How does this work?

My income fluctuates depending on when these chunks of cash come in. How does this work with them calculating my income for the set week to work our what my MAT pay should be?

Thank you.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Jul-19 13:10:42

To everyone who's posted a query (except ColdCottage) - reminder to please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to the user MaternityActionfreeadvice so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check.

The volunteers won't be able to post a response to you until they've received this info.

Thanks

Amanduh Mon 08-Jul-19 17:24:29

My role at work is quite intense, involves a lot of heavy lifting, long periods of standing, laying on the floor, awkward positions, out on my own in warehouses in the dark etc. It isn’t actually on paper a manual job, however you wouldn’t be able to do the role without the additional manual tasks. As I work nights I am the only one in my department who is there at that time, no management or coworkers in my department, and there is just a night skeleton staff. So - I am pregnant. They have carried out a risk assessment and found significant risks so I cannot do the role whilst pregnant.
They cannot offer me any other work on a night shift, as there are no other non manual roles I can do at night and they can’t modify my role to remove the risks as there would be nothing left to do. They can offer me work in the week for half the hours I do, doing the day shifts (which I can’t do as I have dc at home) and are saying if I can’t accept this alternative offer then I will need to leave my job and hand in my notice.
From what I can research and read, this isn’t correct is it? If they offer me an alternative role, I only have to accept if it is the same hours and pay, is that right? Or do I have to accept day hours or leave?

ColdCottage Mon 08-Jul-19 21:50:56

@MaternityActionELAfreeadvice thank you.

Also I just transfer funds from my work bank account (I'm a Sole Trader) as and when I need it as well as a standing order. Can I keep doing this or does this count as paying myself (into the main account that I use)?

I will pm you more detail about the work I do for clarity.

Thank you.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 09-Jul-19 09:47:44

Hello Grimbles and thank you for your question.

The rules around redundancy and maternity leave are generally as you have said.

· You can still be made redundant while on maternity leave.

· However, you have a right of first refusal for any “suitable alternative vacancy” if such a role is available.

· You have the same right as everyone else at risk of redundancy to be notified about any vacancies: you should tell your employer asap that you do not have access to the vacancies.

If you are a member of a trade union, speak with them as they may be able to assist with all of the steps below. If you have a final salary/defined benefit or otherwise generous pension scheme take advice on the value of this as soon as you can because it can be very difficult to replicate that and as such, avoiding redundancy might be all the more important from a financial standpoint.

What happens in a redundancy situation

There are different ways that redundancy situations can be structured when there is a reduction in headcount, and the employer has quite a lot of scope for deciding how to proceed.

(1) One scenario is that the employer is effectively deciding who is leaving. An employer may be reducing the number of people performing a particular role. In that scenario, the employees in the team either get to stay on in the same role, or they are selected for redundancy. In deciding who to select for redundancy, the employer has to use fair and objective selection criteria. They must be careful to ensure that the fact that you are on maternity leave does not prejudice you in any way. For example, they cannot mark you down for pregnancy related absence. If they are taking into account appraisal ratings from a period in which you were off on maternity leave, they need to be very careful about how they score you. It could still be that even after using fair selection criteria, you fall to the bottom of the list and are provisionally selected for redundancy. Unless another job becomes available in the organisation, you can be fairly dismissed as redundant. You are not specially protected because of maternity leave in this scenario. There may still be other vacancies at the employer that you can apply for but you don’t have any special priority to be appointed into those alternative roles.

(2) Another scenario is that there is a reduction in headcount, but the remaining roles are changing a bit more significantly and the employer is instead deciding who is staying. In that case, all the individuals in a team may be provisionally selected for redundancy, but the employer makes some “suitable alternative roles” available. In that case, all employees can apply for these posts. The employer selects in the people who are going to stay. Those unsuccessful with their application will be made redundant (unless some other role becomes available). If the employer uses this method of selecting into new posts (rather than selecting out) then you (and anyone else on maternity/shared parental leave) would have a right of first refusal on the suitable alternative role even if you are not the employer’s first choice. This is what people tend to be talking about when they say that those on maternity leave are protected from redundancy.

There is then also the middle ground which may match your scenario. In that case the employer is mainly deciding who is leaving, but they have other vacancies available generally in the organisation. It is a bit less clear whether remaining roles are a suitable alternative that you should be given first refusal on, or whether they are different enough to just be equally open to everyone at risk of redundancy to apply for. It is then in your interest to be able to show that a role should legally be classed as a “suitable alternative vacancy”.

What is a suitable alternative vacancy?

What that means in practice can be complex. A “suitable alternative vacancy” means that the work under the new contract is both suitable and appropriate for you in the circumstances; and the capacity and place in which you would be employed, and the other terms and conditions of the employment, would not be substantially less favourable to you than if you had continued to be employed in your old job. This is meant to be assessed objectively (i.e. what would a sensible bystander think), looking at whether, having regard to the nature of the job, “status” or perception of job title, content of the new role, and terms of employment, wages, hours and location, and generally whether the job is a match for you.

Effectively what you are wanting to do is show that the role is pretty similar to your current role. It has to be similar enough that if the employer was to try and require you to take the role, it would be reasonable of them to say to you “we think this role is a close enough match to your current role, that if you refuse it, then you need to forfeit your redundancy payment”. You would then only be permitted to refuse a role if based on your particular circumstances, it would be reasonable for you to do so. If any of the roles on the vacancy list look similar enough to your current post that it seems very odd that you haven’t been automatically offered it, then it could be a “suitable alternative vacancy”. The employer is normally the one trying to convince people that a role is a suitable alternative vacancy in order to avoid having to make a redundancy payment, but it would also be open to you to run this argument. You want to be showing why role is very similar to your current role. However, if it is just that you think you could do the role, despite its differences, then you can of course apply for it, but it is just unlikely to meet the legal test of being a “suitable alternative” that you have priority right to.

Notification of vacancies

There is no set rule about how employers need to tell people at risk of redundancy about other vacancies, but they do need to tell you. It seems like this could just be an oversight, and they may not be aware that you can’t access your work email. They need to ensure that you have the same access to vacancies as those who are not off. If otherwise this would be maternity discrimination (and possibly indirect sex discrimination).

I recommend speaking to someone in your employer’s HR team as soon as possible explaining the situation and that you don’t have access to your work emails/the job portal because you are on maternity leave. You can ask that they forward internal vacancies to your personal email address. You can also ask them to send you on a list of any that have recently gone out that you didn’t know about them. If a job that you think you would have had a good chance at has passed you by, then you may want to highlight this, but the reality is it will be difficult to unpick a recruitment that has already taken place. It is more productive to try to keep them on side, and at least initially give them the benefit of the doubt that this was an oversight. As such, I would recommend raising the concern, but not pursuing it as a formal grievance at this stage as that could create unhelpful formality and an adversarial feel.

If a redundancy is confirmed

In terms of minimum statutory entitlements, if you were to be made redundant, you would maintain your Statutory Maternity Pay entitlement until it runs out. You would also be entitled to notice pay, which will depend on your contract and statutory entitlements. You may also be entitled to a payment in lieu of accrued but untaken holiday (which could be significant if you have had a long period of maternity leave).

Grimbles

Is anyone able to help me clarify my understanding of the law when it comes to possible redundancy whilst on Maternity Leave? I work for a large company (100+ employees) that has to cut x amount from the budget which means between 2 and 5 people from my team are at risk.

I am currently on maternity leave and from what I've read it says that although I can be made redundant, my employer has to offer me a suitable alternative job if one comes up, and also i have a right to be notified of all vacancies. My questions are:

Who decides what a 'suitable alternative' is? E.g. if there was a job but my employer didn't think it was suitable or that i was qualified to do it, but I believe I would be, what would happen there?

With regard to be notified of all vacancies, are there any rules about how you should be notified? Apparently monthly emails are being sent to work emails but I was not told of this and cant log into my work email anyway. Do I have any rights to complain about this?

Thanks

Eslteacher06 Tue 09-Jul-19 10:06:51

I'm a permanent teacher and I'm currently on mat leave and don't go back til next year. I teach adults

Before mat leave, I was teaching 2 levels, and 3 different classes. My manager said I'm the best performer in my appraisal.

There is always a reshuffle every new academic year. We were given the timetable for next year and the manager has given me different classes and levels in different buildings, all the other teachers have 2 levels, 2 classes in the same building. Basically, my workload will be considerably more than the others because the more classes/levels you have, the more paperwork you need to do.

I'm waiting to hear back from the union, but it really has filled me with anxiety at the thought of all that extra work having been off for 9 months. Plus I'm pretty annoyed that I've been shafted like that, especially as I raised concerns to my manager that I was worried about coming back, and I really didn't want to work in the other center (there are no resources there and it means being Uber organised if I want to teach good lessons.) Normally I would be, but the transition will be extremely hard.

I asked him if he could assure me that I would be at the main centre in the new academic year (2020-2021) or have a better work situation. He said he couldn't guarantee that.

I really don't know what to do as I don't want to annoy my manager but at the same time it's really upset me and makes me feel like I don't want to go back, even though I usually love the job.

What can I do?

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 09-Jul-19 13:56:12

Dear ColdCottage

Thank you for the further information. As a sole trader you are entitled to Maternity Allowance providing you have been self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due and you have paid Class 2 National Insurance for at least 13 of those weeks. As a sole trader you are not required to prove your earnings over a 13 week period (as you would do if you were claiming MA as an employed person). When you make your claim for MA, the JobCentre Plus will ask HMRC to check your NI record and you will have the opportunity to update your Class 2 NI contributions if you have not recently done a tax return. Once HMRC confirms that you have paid your Class 2 NI contributions you will be entitled to MA at the full standard rate of £148.68 per week for 39 weeks. You can find the MA claim form online here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form

You can work for up to ten days in your MA period without losing MA and after that the JobCentre Plus will disqualify you from MA depending on how many days of work you do. It is commonly understood that your MA will stop completely if you do more than ten days' work but in fact your MA should be reduced by a reasonable amount depending on how much work you will be doing during your MA period e.g. if you work 2 days a week you should only lose 2/7th of your weekly MA payment unless you are returning to your normal working pattern.

You can only be disqualified from MA if you work during your MA period. You cannot be disqualified from receiving MA if you are still receiving income for work done before your MA period started. Although a woman is not entitled to receive her normal 'remuneration' (pay) during her maternity leave, you are still entitled to be paid for any work that you did before you went on leave. In other words, you are entitled to be paid money that is owing to you and it makes no difference to your maternity pay if you receive this money during your maternity leave.

This means that if you are being paid for work done before your MA period started, it will not affect your MA. You can also pay yourself for days of work during your MA period and continue to transfer money that you have earned into your account. However, you must report any days of work during your MA period to JobCentre Plus so that they can make a decision on disqualification. You do not need to report income that you are receiving for work done before the start of your MA period.

I hope that helps but please ask if you need further clarification as this is an area where there is very little information available.

ColdCottage

*@MaternityActionELAfreeadvice* thank you.

Also I just transfer funds from my work bank account (I'm a Sole Trader) as and when I need it as well as a standing order. Can I keep doing this or does this count as paying myself (into the main account that I use)?

I will pm you more detail about the work I do for clarity.

Thank you.

moonlight1705 Tue 09-Jul-19 15:14:16

I started maternity leave in January with the aim of going back to work in June. This was because my contract finished at the end of August and I wished to be back for three months in order to get my enhanced maternity pay.
DH took shared parental leave as part of this (from June to the beginning of the summer holidays - teacher).

However since I have been offered a new job which I have now started. Does this affect shared parental leave at all since I am no longer with my old employer or have I managed to keep within the requirements? I am obviously paying back the enhanced maternity pay.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 09-Jul-19 16:15:17

Dear Amanduh

You work nights, in a role which involves substantial manual tasks. Your employer has carried out a risk assessment and come to the conclusion that you cannot do the role while pregnant. The employer cannot offer alternative work on a night shift, nor can they modify your role to remove the risks. They have offered day shifts (at half your current hours) which you cannot do because you have childcare responsibilities at home. They have said that if you cannot accept the alternative offer then you will need to leave your job and hand in your notice.

You have asked whether this is correct, and in particular whether you are under an obligation to accept the alternative role. The short answer is that this is not correct.

Your employer is not allowed to treat you unfavourably because you are pregnant.

There are some limited exceptions to this – in particular, where your employer needs to take certain steps in order to comply with legislation aimed at protecting the health and safety of pregnant workers. The key piece of “health and safety” legislation is Regulation 16 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. That Regulation says that the employer has to carry out a risk assessment (which they have done). If the employer can’t remove the risk, then they can alter your working conditions or hours of work if it is reasonable to do so. In my view, given your responsibilities at home, it is unlikely that it would be reasonable to alter your hours of work, and you have already explained that they cannot alter the working conditions to remove the risk.

If it is not reasonable to alter the working conditions or hours of work (or if doing so would not avoid the risk), then the employer must suspend you from work for as long as it is necessary to avoid the risk. You would have the statutory right to be paid during any period of maternity suspension.

Before being suspended from work, you have the right to be offered suitable alternative work if it is available. If you unreasonably refuse an offer of alternative work, you would lose the right to be paid during any period of maternity suspension.

From what you have said, it seems that the alternative offer is not suitable alternative work, primarily because it conflicts with your childcare responsibilities. The fact that the hours are reduced is relevant to whether it is suitable (because you would not be earning as much as before), and the fact that the hours are different (conflicting with your childcare responsibilities) is also relevant.

Your employer is required to offer you suitable alternative work, but if they cannot do so then they must suspend you on full pay.

If your employer were to require you to resign, that would (very likely) constitute unlawful pregnancy discrimination and/or unfair dismissal. If that were to happen, you should seek legal advice immediately. In my view, requiring you to resign would be unlawful.

You may want to write a polite e-mail or letter to your employer to try to resolve this issue informally. I would recommend:

Explaining that the alternative role on offer is unsuitable and setting out the reasons why it is unsuitable.
Explaining that your employer must suspend you on full pay, if no suitable alternative work is available, and that this is the resolution which you suggest.
Referring your employer to Paragraphs 8.21, 8.22, 8.31 – 8.35 of the EHRC Code, which is available online here
Referring your employer to Paragraph 979 of the Explanatory Notes to the Equality Act 2010, which is available here – this explains that an employer cannot lawfully dismiss, but could lawfully suspend, a night-shift worker who is pregnant but not able to work nights.
If that approach does not work, then you may wish to consider raising a formal grievance, but I would use that as a last resort because it tends to make relations with your employer more difficult. Finally, you can contact ACAS to register for early conciliation to see whether they can resolve the dispute and finally bring an ET claim if you cannot resolve matters. Please be aware that you have three months less a day from the date of what you are complaining about or the last in the series of things you are complaining about to contact ACAS if you want to go to the ET afterwards or think that you might want to do so. Maternity Action have put together a guide on where to get more help if you're unable to resolve it: maternityaction.org.uk/advice/dealing-with-problems-at-work/

Amanduh

My role at work is quite intense, involves a lot of heavy lifting, long periods of standing, laying on the floor, awkward positions, out on my own in warehouses in the dark etc. It isn’t actually on paper a manual job, however you wouldn’t be able to do the role without the additional manual tasks. As I work nights I am the only one in my department who is there at that time, no management or coworkers in my department, and there is just a night skeleton staff. So - I am pregnant. They have carried out a risk assessment and found significant risks so I cannot do the role whilst pregnant.
They cannot offer me any other work on a night shift, as there are no other non manual roles I can do at night and they can’t modify my role to remove the risks as there would be nothing left to do. They can offer me work in the week for half the hours I do, doing the day shifts (which I can’t do as I have dc at home) and are saying if I can’t accept this alternative offer then I will need to leave my job and hand in my notice.
From what I can research and read, this isn’t correct is it? If they offer me an alternative role, I only have to accept if it is the same hours and pay, is that right? Or do I have to accept day hours or leave?

ColdCottage Tue 09-Jul-19 16:26:02

@MaternityActionfreeadvice thank you

Amanduh Tue 09-Jul-19 19:28:08

@MaternityActionfreeadvice @MaternityActionELAfreeadvice thank you so much, so helpful.

Pandamodium Wed 10-Jul-19 05:13:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pandamodium Wed 10-Jul-19 05:26:31

Wrong thread clearly blush have asked for removal.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Wed 10-Jul-19 16:00:57

Dear moonlight1705,

From your message I assume that in June you did return to work at your previous employer or you had given notice to curtail (reduce) your maternity leave and pay and your husband started his Shared Parental Leave (SPL), all as planned. Then, while your husband was on SPL, you changed your employer.

Provided both you and your husband fulfilled the eligibility requirements for him to take SPL in the first place, then your changing employer in June or July this year would not affect his eligibility to take SPL. You will still meet the requirements.

It may be helpful to set out the requirements for you. In order for your husband to be eligible to take SPL there are certain conditions that both he and you must fulfil.

Your husband must:

- Satisfy the continuity of employment test (he must have been with his employer for at least 26 weeks' at the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth and remain in employment when he started SPL).

- At the date of your child's birth, he must have had the main responsibility for the care of your child (apart from your responsibility).

- He must have given his employer:

o a notice of entitlement and intention to take SPL

o if requested, a copy of your child's birth certificate and the name and address of your employer

o a period of leave notice

In addition, his eligibility to take SPL is dependent on you:

- Satisfying the employment and earnings test (you must have been employed (or self employed) earning on average at least £30 per week for at least 26 of the 66 weeks immediately before the Expected Week of Childbirth)

- At the date of your child's birth, you must have had the main responsibility for the care of your child (apart from your husband's responsibility).

- Being entitled to statutory maternity leave, statutory maternity pay, or maternity allowance in respect of your child.

- Having curtailed your statutory maternity leave and pay by serving a curtailment notice or by returning to work.

As you can see, the requirements that you must fulfil to enable your husband to take SPL are not affected by you changing your employer in June or July this year providing you had returned to work early or given notice to curtail your maternity leave and pay in order to transfer the untaken leave and pay to him.

moonlight1705

I started maternity leave in January with the aim of going back to work in June. This was because my contract finished at the end of August and I wished to be back for three months in order to get my enhanced maternity pay.
DH took shared parental leave as part of this (from June to the beginning of the summer holidays - teacher).

However since I have been offered a new job which I have now started. Does this affect shared parental leave at all since I am no longer with my old employer or have I managed to keep within the requirements? I am obviously paying back the enhanced maternity pay.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Wed 10-Jul-19 16:03:11

Hi Eslteacher06

I am really sorry to hear about that and appreciate it must be making you feel a bit overwhelmed. I assume from your post that you have been allocated more than 2 levels and more than 2 classes whereas all your other colleagues have just 2 levels and 2 classes.

Whilst on the facts that you have presented, you could have a potential complaint of pregnancy discrimination if you can show that you have been given this allocation due to your maternity leave, the important thing is to think about what you want to achieve. If, as I understand from your post, you enjoy your job but just do not want to come back to a heavier workload than before you left, then I suggest that you want to try to have a positive conversation.

I would suggest that you initally have a further conversation with your line manager and HR or your Union, to understand why you have been given a more complex class and level allocation than everyone else. Explain that coming back from maternity leave is perhaps not the time for you to be asked to take on more work than all your colleagues, so could your line manager reconsider the allocations? This is slightly less aggressive than suggesting that the allocation could be discriminatory, but it does make the point that you seem to be getting a bad deal compared to others.

Before that meeting, it may be helpful to think about what you could accept (would you for example be happy to teach three classes, if they were all one level, or all in the same building or do you want a maximum of 2 classes, and 2 levels, like everyone else). This will allow you to have a positive conversation, whilst at the same time making the point, in a constructive way, that it is not fair for you to be treated differently.

If your manager states that he cannot/will not change the allocations, then you could ask what extra support will be put in place for you given that you are doing extra work which looks to be unmanageable and perhaps follow up by stating your concerns in writing and asking for a response to your request that allocations are changed.

You could, if you prefer, take a more robust route by raising a formal grievance under your employer’s grievance policy, but I would suggest this is a last resort, once you have explored other options. Raising a grievance can tend to mean that your concerns are seen as a complaint rather than a way to find constructive solutions. Finally, you can contact ACAS to register for early conciliation to see whether they can resolve the dispute but if you enjoy your job, you may be better to (as a last resort) to instead agree, for example, to try the current allocation for a short time, with a built in review at half-term. I do hope this helps.

We have put together a guide on where to get more help if you're unable to resolve your concerns with the above: find information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended here. maternityaction.org.uk/advice/dealing-with-problems-at-work/

Eslteacher06

I'm a permanent teacher and I'm currently on mat leave and don't go back til next year. I teach adults

Before mat leave, I was teaching 2 levels, and 3 different classes. My manager said I'm the best performer in my appraisal.

There is always a reshuffle every new academic year. We were given the timetable for next year and the manager has given me different classes and levels in different buildings, all the other teachers have 2 levels, 2 classes in the same building. Basically, my workload will be considerably more than the others because the more classes/levels you have, the more paperwork you need to do.

I'm waiting to hear back from the union, but it really has filled me with anxiety at the thought of all that extra work having been off for 9 months. Plus I'm pretty annoyed that I've been shafted like that, especially as I raised concerns to my manager that I was worried about coming back, and I really didn't want to work in the other center (there are no resources there and it means being Uber organised if I want to teach good lessons.) Normally I would be, but the transition will be extremely hard.

I asked him if he could assure me that I would be at the main centre in the new academic year (2020-2021) or have a better work situation. He said he couldn't guarantee that.

I really don't know what to do as I don't want to annoy my manager but at the same time it's really upset me and makes me feel like I don't want to go back, even though I usually love the job.

What can I do?

KittyMcTitty Wed 10-Jul-19 20:30:03

I have been put at risk of redundancy whilst on maternity leave. I work in a small team.
My employer has selected my role (business development and marketing manager) alone as our main contract is being reduced from September although he advised the detail hadn’t been confirmed) I asked for selection criteria as my maternity cover and junior has not been considered at all but was told they no longer require business development which whilst is in my job title isn’t something I have really ever done and I believe my tasks will just be rolled into my junior who is covering me whilst on maternity leave. They obviously need to make a saving but I can’t get real clarity on what tasks are being removed from the contract to make savings.
Where do I stand with this?

Eslteacher06 Wed 10-Jul-19 20:41:56

Thank you for your help smile

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