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any employment experts/sloicitors around???? need advice URGENT.......

(30 Posts)
wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 14:48:52

OK the basics are I am on maternity leave, officialy ends 21 sept 08. I handed in a letter stating my intention not to return to work at end of leave. I did not need to do this yet, however I felt it fair and right to give employer as much time as possible to find replacement for my position. 4 Days later line manager calls to inform me my position throughout the company has been made reduntant! I ask if I would be entitled to a redundancy package as I have given letter of intentions (I think probably not but worth a try!) manager tells me to call hr dept, hr dept tell me YES I am entitled to package speak to manager to arrange. Call back Manager he apeaks to area manager and calls back (on voicemail)"yes you are entitled to money, waiting on pack to complete fromal paperwork etc, will call you when it arrives to arrange meeting" recieve call from manager today (off the record) he has heard that head of HR is going to get in touch, has been decided I am NOT entitled to redundancy as they cant make me reduntant while on maternity leave, as I have in effect handed in notice wont offer me redundancy at end of maternity other words 4K was just dangled under my nose and snatched away! sad HELP! any advice, do I have a leg to stand on???? PS have name changed for this as I am worried a couple of people might know me!!!

inzidoodle Sat 16-Aug-08 16:09:18


smittenkitten Sat 16-Aug-08 16:28:06

afraid not - your resignation pre dates the redundancy; however if you work for a reasonable sized company that's making money then it's worth making a fuss and they might give you a few quid to go away.

I'd put in a grievance saying that you were offered redundancy while on mat leave (potential sex discrim), sought confirmation and received it, made plans etc etc.

ilovemydog Sat 16-Aug-08 16:29:56

or withdraw your resignation smile

wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 16:30:29

Hi thank you for responding. I will put in a grievance and see what happens. Its a huge company so maybe I might get something back. Thanks

NormaStanleyBelcher Sat 16-Aug-08 16:31:37

They can make you redundant on maternity leave - it happened to me 9 years ago.

But if your letter predates the reduncancy then they may well have a get out

<<not legal person disclaimer>>

wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 16:31:44

I have thought about withdrawing my resugnation, but dont know where I stand with that? might be a bit obvious grin I think they can refuse me withdrawing it hmm

nervousal Sat 16-Aug-08 16:35:12

your resignation predates your redundancy so I don't think you'll have a leg to stand on.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 16-Aug-08 16:40:57

They can make you redundant whilst on maternity as long as they have valid business reasons for doing so, the only extra protection you have is the right to be offered another suitable position if one is available.

As your handed in your notice before hearing of redundancy, I dont think you have any comeback at all.

wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 16:43:22

my letter does pre-date it, I think! I handed it in dated 8th August it went in the papers 12th August.......I was never formally notified of the position being made reduntant (my manager called me on the quiet to inform me its in the papers)

nervousal Sat 16-Aug-08 16:47:18

sorry - but if you've already esigned then you won't be entitled to redundancy - why 6n earth would you? Unfortunate, but think you'll just have to live with it. Discrimination won't come into it - you'd resigned, the redundancy was never acted on.

wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 16:54:34

because h/o and line manager said I was entitled!!! I was over the moon they said I would receive it, then oooops no we are wrong your not getting it!!

ilovemydog Sat 16-Aug-08 17:04:58

So, you will be employed until 21 September. When is your job being made redundant?

wantmymoney Sat 16-Aug-08 17:16:06

The post was made reduntant, I believe the day it hit the papers (12th Aug) I am still employed with them now, and have no official word from them about my post, If that makes sense. The day it went in the paper I called H/O and said I have read it and will I be entitled to the package he said yes and to contact my manager, my manager spoke to the area manager then left me a voicemail saying YES you are getting the money just need to sort out paperwork!!

ilovemydog Sun 17-Aug-08 09:11:16

Agree with smittenkitten - here's the tricky part; both redundancy and resignation are effectively terminating your contract of employment. Since you resigned, you aren't redundant, however much would depend on the reliance that was put on the conversations with your line manager and H/R. Did you keep a record of dates of conversations?

The other thing that doesn't make sense is the timing? When was the consultation process? Who knew about the redundancies? And not that this has anything to do with it, but why are you resigning?

ilovemydog Sun 17-Aug-08 12:53:12

Have been thinking about this - did the company accept your resignation knowing that your post was being made redundant? shock

flowerybeanbag Sun 17-Aug-08 19:32:34

You are not technically entitled to redundancy pay as everyone has said.

However -

1. yes they certainly can make you redundant during maternity leave, as long as they give you first dibs on any alternative posts available, so that's incorrect.
2. As ilove says, chances are they accepted your resignation knowing you were about to be made redundant. Nothing illegal but still worth mentioning.
3. You handed in your notice earlier than you needed to out of good faith and in an attempt to help them with their planning. If you had left it as long as you could, you would not have been penalised by losing your redundancy payment.

Put in a grievance with all those things, making a fuss, that might help them 'see the light' in an attempt to avoid going through a grievance procedure.

Also, what ilove said. If they are making redundancies, particularly if there are 20 or more, there are procedures they need to go through. They can't just tell you you are redundant. In which case that's another issue to deal with. See here about redundancy, they must consult and then must follow at least the basic dismissal procedure. Obviously as you resigned you won't have got as far as the basic dismissal procedure, but you should have been consulted.

wantmymoney Mon 18-Aug-08 11:49:32

Hi sorry didnt realise people were still helping with advice blush

ilovemydog I dont know when the consultation process was, I had handed in my letter on the Friday, on Monday my manager called 'off the record' and told me it was in the next days papers that my post was being made reduntant....I have never officially been informed. I believe the company accepted my resignation knowing my post was going.
I am not returning to work as I have choosen to be a full time mummy!!

flowerybeanbag, there were over 100 managers made reduntant. But are still claiming its illegal to consult with me whilst I am on maternity.

I have still not spoken to anyone officialy, everything has been off the record with my manager (apart from being told I am entitled to money!) I am waiting for the official call from HR today.

thank you for the advice I have noted some points to put across when I get the call

ilovemydog Mon 18-Aug-08 14:47:59

The consultation process is usually between unions and management and agrees things like redundacy package, renumeration, selection process (first in, first out), alternative jobs etc. You wouldn't necessarily be consulted individually.

Has your resignation definitely gone into H/R, or is there the remote possibility that your manager (who seems like quite a nice guy!) has been hanging onto it?

Could you find out when the consultation process commenced? Don't understand the logic as far as why it's illegal not to consult you, but OK to make you redundant?

Agree with flowerybean that you should point out that you acted in good faith, and didn't need to resign so early, but wanted your colleagues to have role clarity (insert suitable management speak!) smile

elkiedee Mon 18-Aug-08 16:52:32

My understanding is that while it is legal to make you redundant on maternity leave, it's actually illegal not to consult you and make provisions as they would for people at work to consult you and eg give you opportunities to find alternative employment if there is any with the employer. And as a former union rep my employer is supposed to offer people individual consultation with union representation, as well as collective representation. Our guidance from HR on this actually says managers must make sure they make a special effort to consult employees on maternity leave. Because not to would clearly be discriminatory.

I think you should ask when others were consulted, because it may well have been before you handed in your resignation.

wantmymoney Mon 18-Aug-08 17:54:06

Hi - Ilovemydog, my manager has informed head office etc of my resignation, but as I worded it I will not return AFTER my maternity leave I will be employed until 21 sept. My manager claims he does not know when the consultation process began hmm just that the other managers were given 30 days notice on Tuesday (12 Aug)

HR STILL has not been in touch to tell me its been a mistake! so officaily if I was not able to talk with my manager and he hadnt informed me 'on the hush' I would be none the wiser to all this, feels sneaky and backhanded to me

elkiedee its interesting that you say its illegal not to consult me, thats how I feel, ie everyone else was consulted and offered the package but as I am on maternity I was treated differently and kept in the dark, the first I would have known was when it when in the paper.

I am so angry that no-one has bothered and phoned to speak to me, if my manager hadnt called to pre warn me what was coming I would still be thinking the money is coming and possibly spending it!!

thanks again for advice. Will hopefully get this call tomorrow.

flowerybeanbag Mon 18-Aug-08 19:23:56

elkiedee is right, not only can they and should they consult with you on maternity leave, in fact as a matter of good practice as well as good sense, they should make even more effort to ensure you are fully consulted and communicated with, otherwise they are making themselves legally vulnerable by treating someone on maternity leave differently and putting them at a disadvantage. You have had no opportunity to have any input into the consultation process or make your thoughts known.

wantmymoney Mon 18-Aug-08 19:46:41

Just read the Telegraph online dated 14th August the consultation period was starting that week sad I think I am screwed, I handed my resignation in the previous week, although I dont believe for a second that it wasn't known that it was going to happen, I gave notice on Friday the consultation began Monday........................very very unlucky and bad timing, still dont know where I stand with the fact I NEVER HAD TO GIVE notice at that point, I think the fact I did though makes it irrelevant if it was with good intention sad

flowerybeanbag Mon 18-Aug-08 19:56:55

I think you should still put in a grievance on the grounds I outlined earlier.

1. You were advised you would be eligible for a payment by your manager.
2. You gave notice earlier than you needed to in good faith and in an attempt to be helpful. If you had not, you would have received redundancy pay.
3. You have been incorrectly advised that it is 'illegal' to consult with women on maternity leave. Even if the consultation process hadn't technically started by the time you resigned, it is clear from that statement that they had no intention of consulting with you, which would have been illegal discrimination.

wantmymoney Mon 18-Aug-08 20:03:08

thank you flowerybeanbag, I will take your advice and put in a grievance with those points. I will 'hopefully' hear from HR tomorrow then put it writing after. Thank you again your advice has been very helpful smile

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