I'm an optometrist (the one who does the eye test in an opticians).
I work at a local (under 5 mins) branch as the only resident optom and have done so for the past 5 years.
I just had my baby in December and am planning to return to work at the end of May (26 weeks).
Since I've been off my manager recruited a permanent resident maternity cover. This manager left in February and the new manager recruited a second optom in the branch (who was actually another girl on Maternity who was returning to work and wanted to work at a closer branch, i.e my branch).
Now there are 2 optoms in my branch and I'm confused about what is going to happen when I return to work. I arrange a meeting with this new manager who says that I have to be moved to another store, probably the store the other optom transferred in from.
Obviously I was outraged as the only reason I was returning after 26 weeks was because I wanted and needed my same job back as it was so local.
I kicked up a fuss and the new manager has now got back to me and said that all 3 optoms can stay in the local branch but will have to spend 1-2 days per week at another branch. I have not agreed to this and will not as I cannot travel further then this branch. I'm furious as I feel I have to change my job now and travel purely because there have been 2 permanent staff recruited whilst I was away.
Do I have any grounds to refuse what she is offering and am I right to stick to my guns that I should have the same job I left on? If she refuses what do I next?
I spoke to Working Families who said that I should go to my local branch and if I am sent to another branch I should just come home and that if I get sacked because of it I can claim for unfair dismissal. I spoke to them a second time and was told I should travel under protest?!
Please help a confused and distraught mum who is not enjoying her maternity time whilst fighting for my job!!
i wondered about that but even if OP's contract says she can be moved, surely if the only reason she is actually being moved is because they have kept on her maternity cover and replaced her during her leave that cant be right? as it is not for business reasons but connected to her maternity leave? have you contacted ACAS i think they have a helpline
I feel for OP but also understand how hard it can be for a business to run when people are on ML. Is the compromise of sharing work a few days at the other site not workable at all OP? Are these two days travel better than five in another job if you leave? Now that the return conditions are not as gear as you would like can you extend you ml?