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potential redundancy - maternity leave and flexibility

(3 Posts)
hoursandhours Wed 13-Aug-08 18:14:38

Hi there - name changed for this thread -
I'm on maternity leave, and I've been told officially I am at risk of redundancy due to restructure. As part of the selection process (too many of us for the remaining roles) we have to complete a form outlining our skills and experience and flexibility re hours/location.

I'm currently fulltime but I know that when I return to work (next year) I will want to work fewer hours. Should I say that now on this form, in the hope that this will mean it is more likely to be honoured? I know that I have some protection i.e. no competitive selection for those on mat leave unless competing with another person on/about ot go on mat leave up for the same role (possible but unlikely in my case).
Or should I state I want full-time hours and deal with the reduction in hours on my return (assuming I still have a job). I'm certain that I want to reduce my hours but normally i wouldn't have to state this so early in my mat leave.

flowerybeanbag Wed 13-Aug-08 19:44:41

hoursandhours you are right you do have additional protection as you are on maternity leave. If there is a suitable position for you you must be offered it without having to compete.

However a suitable position would be one on your existing terms and conditions, not on terms and conditions you would like in the future, so making it clear you want different hours will jeopardise your extra protection.

Unless you feel reduced hours will be more likely to give you a job than not (highly unlikely obviously), don't muddy the waters with a request at this point.

Make them honour their obligations to you, make sure you get allocated a suitable post and get it confirmed.

Then at a suitable point when you are thinking about coming back, put in a flexible working request as you normally would based on the new job you have been allocated.

On the other hand what you could do is write stating that you understand as a woman on maternity leave you have extra protection and the right to be offered a suitable position as a priority above other employees where there is one available. Say that you are sure they are aware of that and fully prepared to honour their obligations in this regard, however you would like to also put them on notice that you may also be prepared to consider part time alternatives.

That way you are reserving your right to a full time position if there is one, but also making sure if there are any part time positions you get offered them as well.

If you do decide to go that route, I'd only do so if you have reason to believe there actually will be some part time posts, and definitely don't phrase it as a request on your part, more as a 'I'd be prepared to consider it to help you guys out.'

Up to you. I'd probably just get myself assigned a full time suitable post and worry about reduced hours later tbh. Safer that way, you keep the protection you are entitled to which gives you less stress at a time you really don't need it. Also that way when you do come to make your flexible working request, you will know more about what kind of part time hours you want to fit in with your childcare arrangements with how you are feeling at the time rather than feeling rushed into an arrangement too early.

hoursandhours Wed 13-Aug-08 20:05:10

That's brilliant thanks and sort of confirmed what I suspected. I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly. I'll stick with existing Ts and Cs to keep everything simple at this stage.

As an aside I'm unreasonably grumpy at even having to THINK about work, let alone complete personal profile etc and attend briefings cos it is spoiling my nice indulgent early maternity leave bonding with my child! still, could be worse, adn it looks like the timing of my mat leave is about as good as it could be.

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