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(6 Posts)
helensharratt Mon 07-Sep-09 09:58:20

Hello ladies,

I have no idea if anyone can help me at all but here it goes :

i left on 30th sep last year to go on maternity leave, i always made it clear that i wanted to return a bit early then the year i had contracted off and that i wanted to go back 4 days a week and they said that would be fine, give the normal 8 weeks notice and it should all be ok.
Anyway, my work got taken into administration in june - now i was never told about this until i received a 2 week back dated letter saying that this was the case. obviously i called them to seewhat was going on and they said it should all be ok as they will probably get a buyer and things will carry on as normal.

so beginning of july i wrote my letter asking to come back, only never to get a reply. so i chased up my work 4 weeks later and finally got an answer saying the administrator had declined my request and that i could only go back end of sep full time. i never received anything in writing although i was told a letter was sent.

Now there is still not a buyer and redundancies look likely. i dont want to return to my job as i cant afford to be out of work if i get made redundant as i have been off alot longer than i already planned as they wont take me back. im applying for new jobs and have a couple of possible interviews, but is it necessary for me to tell the companies i have been on maternity leave and i havent yet gone back to work, will my current employer write on my reference how long i have been off. by the time i get a job i will have been off 12 months which i think will hugely go against me as i wouldnt have worked for a whole year - any help would be very much appreciated!!
helen x

LaurieFairyCake Mon 07-Sep-09 10:36:23

Don't you have to return because of maternity pay?

Wouldn't it be better to go back and then presumably you will be entitled to a redundancy package?

It's always easier to find a job when you're in work already.

helensharratt Mon 07-Sep-09 10:50:49

as i had only worked for them for 8 months they didnt pay my maternity pay - i claimed through the job centre so they have never paid me a penny since i went onto maternity leave. and no, when they are taken into administration redundancy packages go out the window. im not due to go back until 30th sep as im still on maternity leave but hoping to find something before i go back so im still classed as employed i just dont no if maternity and how long you were off shows on your refernce?

LSEE Mon 07-Sep-09 18:21:08

I'm not sure where you got the idea from that redundancy packages "go out the window" in administration, if your employer is insolvent you are still entitled to your redundancy payment and can claim it from the Govt via the Redundancy Payments Office. You may not have been employed for long enough to be entitled to a redundnacy payment but that's a different matter. Time spent on maternity leave does count towards your continuous employment for redundancy purposes so your 8 months at work + 12 months on mat leave = 20 months so you may only need to go back to work for 4 months to qualify for a redundancy payment. Maybe it's worth considering whether going back to work would be worth it?

flowerybeanbag Mon 07-Sep-09 19:48:05

It won't 'hugely go against you' to have spent an extra few weeks on maternity leave.

It's not up to anyone else but you to say when your return date is - as long as you are happy to go back on your original hours/terms and conditions, and as long as you give 8 weeks' notice, you don't need anyone's permission to return.

If you gave 8 weeks' notice in July presumably you were intending to return at the end of August? So we're only talking an extra month anyway. It's certainly not going to 'hugely go against you' to take 12 months rather than 11.

In terms of new jobs, you don't need to tell anyone exactly how long you were on maternity leave, no. As I say, I can't imagine one extra month is going to make a huge difference anyway though. In a reference, how much information the new employer gets depends on how much information they actually ask for in the first place, and how much your old employer is prepared to give.

The potential new employer may ask about your work performance and/or your attendance in the last year, for example. Obviously both of these are impossible to answer without mentioning your absence on maternity leave. On the other hand your current employer, particularly given the difficulties they are in, may only be prepared to give very basic factual references anyway, which would probably be literally saying your dates of employment, which of course include your maternity leave.

If you go back to work, are made redundant and your employer is declared insolvent, if you are there long enough to qualify for a redundancy payment then you should be able to claim it from the government. See here. So redundancy payments don't 'go out of the window', although they may certainly be more difficult to come by and involve jumping a few hoops to get there and waiting a while.

mumtolawyer Mon 07-Sep-09 22:33:50

If the company is in administration then it is the administrator who needs to decide on redundancy. Sadly if there is no buyer then that will be likely to be everyone, though a few people may be kept on longer to wind matters up. Redundancy pay (if eligible) will be dealt with by the Government as earlier posters have said.

You need to find out who the member of the administrator's staff dealing with employees is, contact them and make sure they have your current details - they can only go on the company's records and these are usually a bit of a mess. As regards references, as the administrator/their staff have not worked with you then it will just be at most a confirmation that you worked there and the dates.

In the current climate there are many people being made redundant due to their employer being insolvent so putting this in your application if it should happen (it has not yet!) should not raise eyebrows. I can't comment on what anyone might think of mat leave though.

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