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My return to work situation...not sure whats going to happen! Long!

(18 Posts)
Beemer30 Sat 03-Jan-15 18:59:27


I am looking for some advice please. I'm potentially facing redundancy following my maternity leave. I took 12 months maternity leave from my job which ended on the 24th November 2014. Between then and up until now I've been on annual leave. My booked annual leave finishes tomorrow and I am meant to be returning to work on the Monday 5th January 2015.

I contacted my work by email on the 18th August 2014 informing them that I would in fact be taking the whole 12 months of my leave and that I would take annual leave up until the 5th January 2015. I never received a response to this email.

The next time I contacted my employer was on the 17th November as I needed my annual leave adjusting on our online system in order for me to book the time. Just by the nature of this email I once again reiterated that it was my intention to return on the 5th January 2015. During the course of this email exchange I also asked whether it would be possible to possibly move into a role that a colleague of mine had resigned from a couple of months earlier. Our HR manager emailed me back on the 20th November and said he would look into this possibility for me with my new line manager and would let me know. I never heard anything more from him.

On the 18th December 2014, I received the companies internal monthly newsletter and it transpired from this that the HR manager I had been communicating with had left the company. I quickly emailed his assistant forwarding my last email through to her. I was rather anxious at this point as I knew my return date and Christmas was fast approaching and I still did not know where I stood with regard to my return to work.

Later that day I received a phone call from an interim HR person who claimed she had only started the role that day. She was rather woolly with me and I asked her about the proposal I had out forward about changing roles. After being woolly she flatly said that that would not be possible. I said that if that wasn't possible would if be ok for me to return to my old role. She said that she could not answer that and would have to look into my request further. I said at this point that I felt that they were planning on making me redundant. She said she would come back to me before Christmas Eve when the business was shutting down for Christmas. I never heard anymore.

On Monday 29th December 2014 at about 14:45 I received a call from the interim HR manager. I asked her if anything else with regard to my return has been discussed and she said that she was no further forward. Bearing in mind this is now exactly a week before my expected return date. I asked again if the plan was to make me redundant and she said nothing had been decided and that she had only had chance to speak with my line manager briefly. I stated that I felt I was being discriminated as I had been on maternity leave and have had two other periods of maternity leave in the past 4 nearly 5 years ( this is due to the stillbirth of my first child at 42 weeks pregnant in 2010 and the birth of my second child in 2011. My third daughter was born on the 20/12/13). I asked again if they were going to make me redundant and her response this time was "is this something you want me to look into for you". I said it would probably be better to have an actual job and I would be happy to work anywhere within the office where I am based (I'm based at HQ which is their largest office). I only work 15 hours (2 days a week).

She asked if I could come into the office the following day to have a chat and I said I could not due to child care issues. She said fine we will have to have a meeting on the 5th January on the day I am due to return.

At present I am now going to go into my office on Monday 5th January not knowing whether I actually have a job role or whether they are going to state that they actually want to make me redundant. Bearing in mine I first told them of my intentions on 18th August 2014 (4.5 months ago).

I wonder where I will stand if they attempt to make me redundant. As far as I know they are not making any other redundancies so they would be targeting just me. There is another part time person in my team who does similar hours and work. My work would not actually be redundant as it would still need to be done. I feel like they have possibly purposely dragged this out till my maternity leave is actually over in order to avoid giving me alternative work and that I may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

lilyloo Sat 03-Jan-15 19:08:41

It doesn't seem like they are mentioning redundancy , more like you are asking them ?

Beemer30 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:21:40

They aren't giving me a job though so what is the alternative?

bigkidsdidit Sat 03-Jan-15 19:29:18

It sounds like you were hinting that's what you wanted, that's why you kept bringing it up. You have to get your old job or one on the equivalent scale, don't you?

LaurieFairyCake Sat 03-Jan-15 19:35:13

Stop talking about redundancy and turn up for work - you've given them your return date, just turn up.

Unless they're entirely useless and/or stupid they will just give you your desk.

Beemer30 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:36:27

That's what I thought but they haven't been forthcoming with any firm offer. I kind of expected this to be sorted and a role to be in place before my first day back given I've given them lots of notice. When I asked about just slotting back into my old role that I did before leaving they didn't indicate that that was going to be an option. It's just confusing at a time where I feel quite vulnerable sad

petalunicorn Sat 03-Jan-15 19:38:53

I too think it was odd you kept mentioning redundancy, they must think you are angling for this, I know a few people who have tried this and it worked, it was mutually beneficial. If you don't want this you might have to quickly explain that to them.

I would just turn up on the 5th expecting to do a days work but being prepared that it may not be the same job you had before. It would have been nice for them to have chatted to you beforehand about what you would be doing but I don't think they have to? Especially if they were assuming you would be doing your old job?!

bigkidsdidit Sat 03-Jan-15 19:39:09

But you don't need an offer, do you? I just turned up.

CommanderShepard Sat 03-Jan-15 19:40:10

Have you ever actually been told formally you're at risk of redundancy? I have, and I received a letter to confirm this and outlining my options.

As to your standing, you are entitled to return to the job you were in when you left to commence maternity leave or one whose conditions are no less favourable; discussions about moving to a different position are separate to this (as I understand it, but I'm not in HR so willing to be corrected) and from what you've said are not possible anyway, so turn up as normal on Monday and go from there. It doesn't seem, from what you've said, that there's actually a problem here other than a crap HR team.

cheminotte Sat 03-Jan-15 19:42:05

Have you talked to / emaijustlethd ypir actual boss rather than just HR?. Its quite likely its just really poor communication.

CommanderShepard Sat 03-Jan-15 19:42:20

Sorry, cross-posted with your response; you don't need a firm offer. You're already employed by them and the terms of your contract aren't changing.

WeAllHaveWings Sat 03-Jan-15 19:42:45

It does sound in your op as if you have raised the redundancy question at least a couple of times, perhaps giving the impression you would be interested in a voluntary redundancy.

At this stage I think all you can do is attend the meeting on Monday, if redundancy is raised make it clear you are not interested in a voluntary redundancy but would like your old job or equivalent as this is what you are entitled to. If they raise a compulsory redundancy i think there are formal procedures that must be followed which hopefully will give you time to assess if they are treating you unfairly.

If your old job is not there I think they should have offered you any suitable equivalent roles that became vacant during your at maternity leave (this happened to a friend years ago, not sure if rules changed now, but worth checking out).

cheminotte Sat 03-Jan-15 19:43:41

emailed your

peppapigonaloop Sat 03-Jan-15 19:43:54

The only person who seems to be talking about redundancy is you. It sounds like HR are crap and haven't really paid any attention to you and your return, that really doesn't mean you are on some redundancy list though. Stop worrying, go in on Monday and hopefully you will get it sorted right away..

YonicSleighdriver Sat 03-Jan-15 19:45:16

Unless you hear otherwise, the default is not that you are redundant but are returning to your old position.

I imagine the lack of response is caused more by the changes at HR than anything else.

cheminotte Mon 05-Jan-15 08:37:28

Good luck today Beemer

ssd Mon 05-Jan-15 09:10:33

let us know how it goes op

Beemer30 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:31:51

Thanks for thinking of me. I got in to find our HR lady was not in. It was messy and I didn't have a desk but in the short term I think it's ok. I'm not sure whether things may change in the next few months. The staff turn over in the last year has been huge and there have been some nasty, badly handled redundancies. I'm going to continue looking for something else in the meantime but when you are limited to working 2 days a week due to prohibitive child care costs it quite limited.

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