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To be furious that my sister has got to fight for her job with the golden boy who covered her maternity leave? Need advice

(16 Posts)
MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 11:55:21

My sister is well respected in her field and works for a big charity. She has always put her all into her job (you wouldn't believe how hard she works) and since having her twins this hasn't changed.

There is going to be a major restructure with redundancies and she's got to fight for her job with the chap who covered her maternity leave stayed on and is now golden boy.

Surely this isn't right legally,what can she do? Surely whatever is going she should be 1st in the queue.

Anybody big on law,maternity leave etc need advice,can't tell you how angry I am

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 11:56:54

So angry I posted it in the wrong place smile

Bramshott Thu 25-Jun-09 12:13:51

Is she already back at work?

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 16:46:03


Kathyis6incheshigh Thu 25-Jun-09 16:49:31

grr. Seething on your sister's behalf.
Unfortunately this happens all the time. You go on maternity leave and come back and find you're not quite as welcome as you used to be.
Unfortunately they are probably allowed to do it - I don't know much about employment law but I assume they can pretty much do what they want if they are having a restructure.

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 25-Jun-09 16:54:07

I'm no expert on the law around maternity leave but I would have thought that if her maternity leave has ended then she can't really argue that, can she? "You can't make me redundant because I have come back off maternity leave" ??

She is back at work, with everyone else. There must be some redundancies. Surely she should be considered as much as the next person? (and even if she was still on leave, her job can be made redundant, the company would just have to prove it was nothing to do with her maternity leave - I remember reading another thread about that)

Why should she be first in the queue for a job? Surely it should be determined on merit?

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 16:57:50

You're kidding shock

They can't use her dc as a reason to pick the other though can they that must be illegal.

She's a real hard worker, very professional and is the main wage earner. She has a lot of support from her dh and has a nanny so hasn't had any problems with juggling iykwim.

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 16:58:49

Yes but he muscled in on things whilst she was away and hasn't been good about handing things back.

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 25-Jun-09 17:03:51

No, they can't use her dc as a reason to pick the other person - but they wouldn't say that was the reason, even if it was. They'd say he was doing a better job, or had better contacts or whatever.

And if she is being prevented from doing her job by him, she needs to be firm. Be blunt in fact! And if he doesn't listen, go to the manager if required and ask that s/he direct this bloke to <insert professional term for 'back the feck off' here> grin

If redundancies are on the cards, no doubt he is working hard to show them that he is worth keeping on. Dog eat dog.

bigstripeytiger Thu 25-Jun-09 17:05:24

But how do you know that they are using her DC as a reason to pick the 'golden boy'?
Or even that they will pick him?

If this man has joined the company, and is working well, impressing people etc then I can imagine he would be pretty annoyed at the suggestion that he should be the one made redundant just because he hasnt ever been on maternity leave?

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 17:07:56

God it all sounds ruthless, you'd have thought charities were nice places to work. I've been out too long it all sounds terrifying.

Thanks for the advice smile

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 17:09:49

But she's been there a long time and has worked her butt off. It all sounds suspicious to me but these are my suspicions only I admit.

Kathyis6incheshigh Thu 25-Jun-09 17:09:55

You're supposed to come back to the job you left, so if he is still doing some elements of her job she may have a case against them for that. Maybe she should speak to her manager to make it clear the work hasn't been given back to her and she wants it to be!

Nubbin Thu 25-Jun-09 17:11:34

Depends on the timing:

If she is still on maternity leave when the redundancy consultation starts she will have 'first pick' of any alternative suitable roles (even if she is not as good/ qualified as the other candidate).

However, if she has returned she does not have the protection (except that you always have the protection that you cannot be discriminated against on the grounds of pregnancy or sex (which would include having taken maternity leave/ having DCs etc. - appreciate this may be difficult to show in practice). If they do begin consultation she will need to ensure that any selection criteria applied to her and the other bloke are fair (i.e. not skewed by her time off on maternity leave - e.g. if she has recently returned any performance etc. should really be judged on the period prior to leave) and that they are applied fairly.

Otherwise she will have to just be firm - if she is having issues with handover speak to someone - state she thinks that her return is not being handled properly etc. - this puts them on notice for potential discrimination which normally makes a decent HR department sit up a little bit.

MilaMae Thu 25-Jun-09 17:13:27

Thanks Kathy and Nubbin smile

FattipuffsandThinnifers Thu 25-Jun-09 17:27:31

Why has he stayed on though? If it were me, I'd argue that him simply staying on at the company is questionable, unless they have created an entirely separate job for him to the one he had been covering. (And if they are making redundancies this sounds unlikely.)

If they haven't created a separate/new job for him, then he must surely by default still be doing her job?

In which case, I would think she would definitely have an argument for unfair dismissal (which is what it would be if she lost her job and he didn't). If she had never been on ML, he would not have been employed in the first place, so the fact he is still there, partly doing her job in itself dodgy.

Unfair dismissal is a murky thing, not always black and white, so tell her to fight her corner!

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