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

(8 Posts)
AnnaCMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Nov-19 09:55:06

Mumsnet and Maternity Action are teaming up once again to provide 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 the form of a 'Q&A' session on this thread, with members of the public posting questions about their employment rights dilemmas relating to pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work on a dedicated public discussion thread. 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 Monday 11th to Friday 15th November and will be held on a quarterly basis. 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:
1. 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.
2. Please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to 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.
3. 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.

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 have suggested 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.

Phoenix85 Sun 10-Nov-19 21:21:45

From the moment I was pregnant I had an issue with my employer. It was resolved, but not in their favour. They didn’t want to set a precedent by paying me for being sick.
Throughout my pregnancy I attended normal appointments&went on leave the day I was induced. I returned to work 10 weeks later.
I wrote&asked for flexible hours&work from home. Was told it was fine. (Verbally)
Now 7 months later I’m being told it’s not.
I’m fairly sure now that I’m a working mum im seen as a nuisance. It’s a small company. No HS in place until I wrote it up.
Really do I have any protection?? Or would it be virtually impossible to prove they are constructively dismissing me?

Louise2019 Mon 11-Nov-19 07:11:48

Prior to maternity leave I was contracting, therefore I have a 12 month gap (so far) on my cv and as such have to explain why I’ve been out of work for so long. I’ve been honest and said that I’ve been on maternity leave. I was recently verbally, and via text, offered a part time job following two interview on the condition that I just had to “meet” the CEO before a formal offer would be made. The meeting was actually an intense interview after which the CEO said they would not offer me the position as I “was only able to do part time hours”. During the meeting with the CEO I had discussed the possibility of the demands of the role increasing and I had stated that if the role became full time I would like to remain in the position. I suspect that the real reason for rescinding the verbal offer is because I am a woman of child bearing age who has recently had a baby. The position has now been re-advertised with a different job title but the same job description and still part time. Do I have a case for discrimination? All discussions of the role were via an agent and are on text message. Thank you

Quail15 Mon 11-Nov-19 11:20:48

Prior to going on maternity leave I was aware that there maybe some changes with in my team although this was not confirmed. I work for the NHS and have had an odd email here and there about these changes whilst on may leave but no formal consultation. I was working mon-fri 9-5 but it was verbally agreed that I could reduce my days when I return.

However I have been told in an email that my post no longer exists and they want me to work 3 or 4 12 hrs shifts a week. I have advised them that due to nursery only being set days and closing at 6pm I am unable to work constantly changing shifts. I was asked to submit a flexible working request which I have done but I have been told they are yet to even look at it (I return to work in January) and that there is no guarantee my request will be accepted. To be honest I'm not really concerned about my change in role but I am not happy about my change in working hours.

What are my rights with regards to my job being completely changed whilst on maternity leave without any formal discussion/letters/consultation?

Do I need to escalate my concerns to HR or involve my union at this stage?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Nov-19 11:53:19

Hello @Phoenix85h @Louise2019 @Quail15 - if you haven't already could you please PM the Mumsnet user MaternityActionfreeadvice with your name and the name of your employer? This will go straight to the Maternity Action team and is just so that the solicitors can check they don't have a conflict of interest - they can't reply until they have this information. Thank you. (Will edit the OP now to make that clearer!)

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Nov-19 15:24:19

(Just to be clear, please don't PM AnnaCMumsnet - the OP of this thread - she's not working during the early part of this week and so can't see your messages, and anyway it's best if your personal info goes straight to the people who need it, so please PM MaternityActionfreeadvice with the details.)

Louise2019 Mon 11-Nov-19 15:51:18

I’ve replied to the inbox message twice but my reply is not showing in my inbox, can you check this please @rowanmumsnet

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Nov-19 17:00:18


I’ve replied to the inbox message twice but my reply is not showing in my inbox, can you check this please *@rowanmumsnet*

Hi Louise - really sorry, we led you up the garden path a bit. Rather than replying to AnnaCMumsnet (who posted the OP) we need you to send a PM directly to MaternityActionfreeadvice - if you open the personal messages page on Mumsnet and just type that name (MaternityActionfreeadvice) into the 'to' field and add the info in the body of the message, it should go to the right place. We can't retrieve the other messages you've sent until Anna comes into work later on this week, so it will be quicker if you can do it this way.

Very sorry for the confusion.

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