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Do you think this is right? redundancy during maternity leave..

(9 Posts)
cherrycat Fri 24-Jul-09 21:30:16

Hi everyone

Could anyone help me out with some advice?

Whilst on maternity leave I was made redundant as funding was lost for my post. I went into work whilst on mat leave to discuss this and I was offered another job in the company...4 days a week instead of 5 that I was originally working. But the catch was I had to start it NOW! Cut short my maternity leave or loose the job. So I accepted in panic and went home. I couldn't find suitable childcare as I had some already in place for three months time when my maternity leave would originally finish and couldnt bring it forward so phoned work and had to turn the job down. Everyone in my family thought this was out of order..take the job now or forget it...discriminating against me because I was still on maternity leave and expecting me to come back early.

Anyway, the last months ticked by and no other jobs in my area came up at the company....in the last few weeks of my leave HR phoned and told me the other job I didnt take hadnt been filled (oh and they had told me they had to fill it now or else 3 months ago! Rubbish!) so I said ok I can take it now as my mat leave finishes next week and I was desperate for a job. I persumed that my previous salary would be in place as they never mentioned it when they offered me the job the first time...so I imagined it was on a par with the last one. How wrong was I it was six and a half grand less per anum! I worked out my sums and after chilcare costs for son I would bring home about £30 a week before petrol....I therefore couldnt see the point as it was a job with less responsibility, less money and a waste of my skills and experience. I feel totally let down and it doesnt sit right with me. Im not very up on employment law so just wonderd if my employers were allowed to do this.

Really appreciate any help.

Many thanks

KembleTwins Fri 24-Jul-09 21:34:24

I am fairly sure your employers weren't allowed to do this. Are you a member of a union? If so, consult them, if not, try the CAB. A friend of mine was, effectively, made redundant whilst on maternity leave due to the restructuring of her department. Because she was on mat leave, she was not made aware of what was going on - if she'd been at work, she would have been kept up to date. She took her employer to industrial tribunal and got a fairly hefty payout. Definitely worth investigating further.

cherrycat Fri 24-Jul-09 21:40:10

thanks kembletwins.....I really dont know what to do.

many thanks

Sexonlegs Fri 24-Jul-09 21:40:50

Cherry, this sounds totally outrageous on a number of counts.

This is not a reasonable alternative role to redundancy; it is not on a par with your current level of role or salary.

Have you turned it down?

cherrycat Fri 24-Jul-09 21:43:03

hi sex on legs, yes i turned it down as the job just wouldnt pay enough to put baby in nursery. Do you think its crazy? thanks for your reply, im sitting at home feeling confused...went to sign on today and was treated like muck by job centre lady on top of all this xxx

Sexonlegs Fri 24-Jul-09 21:47:43

Cherry, how long have you been with your current company?

What consultation did you have with anyone from your company?

Just trying to get a picture together as to what to do next.

Basically, those on maternity leave should automatically be offered a suitable alternative role if their role is being made redundant.

As I said, this doesn't sound like a suitable alternative. I guess some companies are "trying it on" what with the current economic climate.

cherrycat Fri 24-Jul-09 21:58:38

hi sex on legs..thanks again for your reply,

I have been with them for a year and a half in total and was finished off on th 20th July.

Consultation was one meeting with HR manager and my manager who offered me that job first time round 'start now or loose it' and then a phone call from HR couple of weeks ago offereing it me again....but thats when I discoverd the pay cut...but they never mentioned it..I just asked out of interest even though I thought it would be the same salary pro rata as last job.

Is that any help?

thanks xxxxxx

Sexonlegs Fri 24-Jul-09 22:24:14

OK, so, they offered you an alternative, but not what I would call a suitable alternative. And I assume there is no redundancy pay as you have less than 2 years continuous service.

Sounds as though they were chancing their arm a bit, given the economic climate (as I mentioned before) as they thought it was better than nothing/no redundancy payment.

TigerDrivesAgain Sat 25-Jul-09 09:53:36

They've obviously been pretty useless throughout.

But their obligation to offer you a suitable alternative role only applies if there's a suitable vacancy there to offer. They wouldn't have to upgrade the new role if genuinely the job they could offer you was at that level: you said that it was less skilled etc, so presumably it was a different job. They don't have to create a new job.

It's always worth taking some advice (CAB, free interview with employment lawyer) on the full details of your situation though.

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