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my sister's boss is telling her that she 'can't afford' to take 5 months mat. leave...and that there will be no part time job for her upon return.what can we do?

(14 Posts)
ThePudding Mon 12-Jan-09 14:24:54

they work for a very large retailer.
How do bosses still get away with this kind of thing?

what can I do to help my sister with this?

Lauriefairycake Mon 12-Jan-09 14:26:43

is she already part-time?

solidgoldsoddingjanuaryagain Mon 12-Jan-09 14:27:10

I am no expert on this but I think the boss is about to break the law. Is your sister a union member? If not, she should probably go to the CAB.
SMall companies (with fewer than 10 employees or something) are allowed a bit more leeway as it is harder for them to manage maternity leave/part time work etc - but a large retail chain is not exempt from the law.

PortAndLemon Mon 12-Jan-09 14:27:25

Give her the ACAS helpline number: 08457 47 47 47

edam Mon 12-Jan-09 14:29:49

boss cannot sack her, deny her her legal right to maternity leave, or treat her unfavourably because of her pregnancy. Have a look on the Equalities Commission website and ACAS. If boss does any of those things, your sister can go to an industrial tribunal and sue for sex discrimination.

As it's a big company, would be worth involving the HR dept. who should be much more clued up.

Tinker Mon 12-Jan-09 14:31:35

I blame it all on Rachida Dati. angry

ThePudding Mon 12-Jan-09 14:31:59

she is full time at the mo.

the same boss seemed to think part time would be ok last year.

she's not in a union. in fact due to all this she is considering leaving after mat. leave even though getting a job will be very hard this year.

ThePudding Mon 12-Jan-09 14:33:04

tinker did you read Liz Jones' in Mail on Sunday about that woman?!

Tinker Mon 12-Jan-09 14:33:51

Not in Mail but had read elsewhere

ilovelovemydog Mon 12-Jan-09 14:35:19

What is the company's maternity policy? How much is paid?

She needs to get in touch with the H/R department before she does anything else. Her boss may actually be right, albeit put across very crass; that she may not get 5 months paid maternity leave, and that there aren't any part time jobs available.

But urge her to get in touch with H/R before she goes to any external agencies. They will explain it better, hopefully.

Lauriefairycake Mon 12-Jan-09 14:35:20

They don't have to give her part-time if they can provide good business reasons for it

The first part could just be a rather rude comment - 'you can't afford 5 months maternity leave' could be her hamfistedly commenting on her financial situation

boss sounds horrid.

If I was your sister I would follow the procedures for applying for part-time to the letter.

ThePudding Mon 12-Jan-09 14:36:07

thanks all

will go ferreting around the web now

rookiemater Mon 12-Jan-09 14:37:16

Might be worth reposting this in Employment issues.

It all seems frightfully illegal but Flowerybeanbag is your best bet to get all the correct info.

My hazy knowledge is that all woman are entitled to return to their old jobs provided they take less than 6 months Mat leave, if you take between 6 - 12 months then you are entitled to return to one at the same grade but it may not be the job you were doing before.

Regarding part time working you are entitled to request it but your employer can refuse it based on a number of business reasons.

ThePudding Mon 12-Jan-09 14:51:27

yeah just been reading about flexible working

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