Redundancy threat on return from maternity leave - was it actually a redundancy situation?

(6 Posts)
Fleans Mon 19-Oct-20 11:33:19

On my return from maternity leave I was pushed into a demotion that I didn’t want. My original job was being given a new label and some additional responsibilities including line management of 2 people. In my view the job is not very different and I should have been promoted in post (I have line management experience in this organisation already and had to work closely with these roles previously).

I was told my original role was being made redundant. All of the work I did in the role is being carried out by the new role it just has a few extra responsibilities.

Is this a proper redundancy within law or were they wrong to threaten me with it?

OP’s posts: |
flowery Mon 19-Oct-20 12:02:15

Impossible to say definitely based on this. But there's no requirement to promote someone in post, and if they needed a different post at a higher level with additional responsibilities and didn't want to just promote someone without an open process, it would either be redundancy of the other post or a potential Some Other Substantial Reason dismissal due to restructuring, which would be less favourable to the employee as it wouldn't attract any redundancy pay anyway.

Did you get the opportunity to apply for the higher level role? When was all this?

maxelly Mon 19-Oct-20 12:27:38

What Flowery said ^ ! If you are thinking of taking this further, or just in general, it would be good to take some proper advice from someone reputable you can share the full facts with, your trade union representative, ACAS or an employment law solicitor would be a good port of call.

I'll just add that in the public sector it would be standard practice that if a job has significantly changed to the point where it has gone up a grade through a formal job evaluation process, it would usually mean there has to be at least an internal recruitment exercise, it would be rare to promote someone in post as this can be seen as in breach of transparency/fair competition principles. And therefore as Flowery says that will mean the original post holder is at risk of redundancy (they would have the opportunity to apply for the job of course but not automatically be given it). The timing does seem a bit shitty with you coming back from maternity leave but without the full facts and context no-one can say if that was sinister or just an unfortunate coincidence.

The timing of all is this is important as if you've accepted an alternative post you may have quite a narrow window of time to formally register your objections/complain or you will be seen as having accepted the situation/your new contractual terms and may be at risk of not being able to make a claim against your employer...

Fleans Mon 19-Oct-20 13:34:10

Thank you for your responses.

It happened over three months ago. I am considering putting in a greviance as the whole process was handled so badly.

My organisation has a real tradition of promoting people in post without interviewing. So it seemed odd.

I was told I could apply. But I knew it had been predetermined; I was shown a structure chart with my name in the demoted position, was told only about the position I had been put in (not the slightly enhanced role), my manager had told me he would find out if ‘I could apply for the job or whether I would have to lump it’ when I said I would like the enhanced role.

I was only threatened with redundancy after I questioned the approach of pushing me into a lower role.

It all went downhill after I had informally requested returning for 4 days a week. He wouldn’t discuss with me how I knew this could work in the original role.

I know I’m capable of the enhanced role, not that i can have it now. My performance was always excellent and acknowledged. It is really not much of a step up from what I was originally doing.

OP’s posts: |
Florencex Mon 19-Oct-20 15:55:15

I think it could be reasonably easily argued that adding line management responsibilities to a role makes it a different role (that you have experience in line management is not really relevant because it is about the role not you).

In any case, I think you are out of time to actually make a claim and this is something that needed to have been challenged at the time. You should be clear as to what it is you want before you pursue a grievance.

Bluntness100 Mon 19-Oct-20 16:01:05

I also think this is a significant enough change to make it a different role. I suspect so do you, because you call it being promoted in role

I get it hurts, and you’re pissed about it, but think carefully about what you wish to happen, I’d say it was unlikely much will come from a grievance.

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