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Being made redundant while on matenity leave - any advice please !!!

(9 Posts)
kat80 Sun 05-Jul-09 01:06:02

hi all, i'm looking for a bit of advice. I am currently on maternity leave and when i went in to work to take baby in, i was told in passing by my boss that if i wanted to come back then i would need to re-apply for my job as the position has changed. That was all that was said as my boss then went into a meeting. I have since been back but my boss was unavailable to talk to, so instead got talking to a fellow work mate who works in HR. She said something like this "off the record, your job is effectively being made redundant as they have decided that your position is more of a management role, and therefore they will be keeping my maternity cover on instead of me (she has more experience in my field). She then went on to say that they were trying to find another position for me in accounts (of which i have no experience in and without being too fussy, have no desire to work in this department as i have no experience what so ever and accounts really isn't something that i would be interested in. SHe said failing that they would have to make me oficially redundant. I am currently waiting to have a meeting with my boss, but as i was told this off the record i'm not sure whether or not i can use any of this in the meeting. I really dont know where i stand with any of this and would really appreciate any advice if any one out there can help! thanks in advance x

JoesMummy09 Sun 05-Jul-09 01:29:41

I'm so sorry that this is happening to you and in such an insensitive way.

You have a right to return to your job. Unless they decide your old role is redundant to business needs. And if they do that they have to do it according to the law. So far they haven't. They can't drip feed you info like this, there has to be proper consultation and the legal process followed.

Are you in a union? Do you have "family legal protection" on your home insurance policy? Either can give you advice as can ACAS

It's also worth looking at Direct Gov site where employment law is clearly explained including how women on maternity leave have additional rights.

If they don't follow the process you may have a case for unfair dismissal.

All of this of course depends on what you want to do. If you don't want to stay you could take a redundancy package and get another job somewhere else. The money may come in handy with new baby. But you need to consider how easily you could get another job. You do not have to take a job in accounts if you don't want to. They either have to give you your old job back or offer you a job match or make you redundant.

HTH and good luck

kat80 Sun 05-Jul-09 12:24:10

thanks very much or that info, we dont have a union, and i will check my insurance to see if i have legal cover, but have looked at the ACAS website, so thanks for the link! i'm really unsure as to what to do really, as under normal circumstances i would find another job else where but under the current cimate i'm not sure how easy that will be!

flowerybeanbag Sun 05-Jul-09 16:04:46

Your friend in HR has been incredibly unprofessional, talking to you 'off the record' like that!

You should certainly use that information in the meeting, say what you were told and ask for it to be put on the record.

Whether your role is genuinely redundant I can't say from what you've said.

It also might depend how much maternity leave you're taking. If you return during the first six months, you must get your own job back. If you return later than that, they only have to give you a suitable job if it's not practical to give you your own job back.

So if you are taking longer than that, it may not be a problem anyway. See what happens in the meeting and take it from there I think.

abcmum Mon 06-Jul-09 19:01:19

Have you had official notification of your role being at risk of redundancy? Is your's the only role being made redundant? How different is the so-called new role to yours? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask.

Need more detail, but if what your friend in HR has told you (unprofessionally), you could have an excellent case for SD based on both my case law and the one which my case was based on which was Mundie v Drysdale Brothers

Mrs Mundie was employed to carry out administrative duties for the respondent. She became pregnant and, at her suggestion another worker, Ms Kearney, was employed to undertake the administrative duties in Mundie's absence on maternity leave.

Kearney performed well and the respondent decided to make Mundie redundant, retaining Keaney to carry out administrative duties. Kearney claimed she had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on the grounds of her sex.

The employment tribunal agreed with Mundie. Had she not been on maternity leave Kearney would never have been appointed and the comparison between Mundie and Kearney would not have been made. Since the respondent still needed someone to undertake the administrative duties Mundie had been originally performing, the role was not redundant and it was held that Mundie had a statutory right to return to her role.

An employee absent from work on maternity leave has a statutory right to return to their role even where a temporary replacement has been appointed who performs better and there is only capacity for one employee to be retained.

I have a FB group called - STOP Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace. Pls join and message me. I will happily help you with any other advice you need and mail you the judgement from my case.

kat80 Mon 06-Jul-09 20:16:41

thanks abcmum and flowery, abcmum i have tried to find you on fb but cant, i copied and pasted the group name but nothing came up! thanks for all of that info, the case Mundie v Drysdale Brothers sounds almost identical to what is happening with me. I have not been formally informed as of yet, but just had a passing comment and then the info from a girl at work. I have been told that part of the job I did has been sub contracted out to another company and the rest of the work is being carried out by my replacement, the only thing as far as i know at the moment is that my replacement now has to officially supervise two other members of staff, which i did before i left but was never in the job description, so nothing was official. My previous job before taking this role was a supervisor position, so i feel that because of this experience and because of unofficially supervising the other memebers of staff i would be more than capable to do the role. The other thing i was thinking is if they ont want me to supervise then surely as all my duties are still there i should be able to go back and possibly they could employ a supervisor for the department on a part time basis? Sorry if i'm rambling on a bit, the other thing to mention is that i would be returning to work after ordinary maternity leave - so assume my rights would be to return, also i am the only one that is to be made redundant.

abcmum Tue 07-Jul-09 07:52:57

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=91312297686

My case was pretty much the same, except the comparision was salary rather than performance.

abcmum Tue 07-Jul-09 08:07:56

Hi again, also meant to say - document everything - even the conversation you had with the girl from work - just make a note of the converstion, date etc, while you remember it.

Another point I noted in your first post is that they mentioned you would have to reapply for your position. If your job is redundant, then the other role is a suitable alternative and should automically be offered to you! Your case sounds so similar to mine in a lot of ways, so if you can't find me on FB, let me know and I will email you my judgement. Also is that conversation you had when you went in with baby the only notification you have had, because if so, they have aready breached procedure, as you should have been given official notification that the job is at risk of redundancy and are entitled to a consultation period, not just told in passing!! shocking!

At this stage, I wouldn't discuss anything with anyone from work, just wait for it all to become "offical" and then you can decide on next steps. Good Luck - will help all I can x

flowerybeanbag Tue 07-Jul-09 09:49:56

I would like to just say that with the information we have currently, it's not possible to say that the job is a suitable alternative. It might be. But if there is now management of a team involved which there wasn't previously, it may not be that clear cut. It may be a genuine restructuring and the job may not necessarily automatically be suitable.

Of course they are not following proper procedure and are not behaving reasonably, which is half the problem, as the OP doesn't have all the information anyway because of this. I would just caution against assuming you have a good case for anything just yet, until you've had a meeting and got all the information and can take a proper view.

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