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Being made redundant while on maternity leave

(2 Posts)
lilismum08 Tue 28-Oct-08 22:23:36

Hi All,

I have been on maternity leave for almost 5 months now and have just been informed that I might be made redundant.

Does anybody know the legal situation here. I'm not sure how to react.

Thanks in advance

flowerybeanbag Wed 29-Oct-08 08:57:12

lilismum08 it is perfectly legal to make someone redundant while they are on maternity leave, however you do have some extra protection. If there is any suitable job available anywhere in the organisation, you must be offered it before and in preference to anyone else. You can't be made to compete for jobs, apply for them or be selected for redundancy from a pool of people. So it's fine to make you redundant as long as there is nothing available that would be suitable for you.

This goes against normal principles of employment law, which normally says you can't be discriminated against. In this instance, it's like positive discrimination, women on maternity leave get favourable treatment.

Because it's slightly unusual, it wouldn't be surprising if your employer doesn't know about this requirement.

Here is some general information about redundancy, your rights in terms of pay, the process that must be used and consultation.

I would suggest that you contact your HR department or whoever it is who has informed you about the redundancy situation, and make sure they are aware that as a woman on maternity leave you are entitled to special protection and must be offered a job where there is one. If you've been told you might be made redundant it sounds as though things aren't quite finalised yet in terms of who will be going, so you should get in there quickly with that information to make sure it is being taken into account when decisions are being made.

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