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WWYD Redundancy whilst on Maternity

(23 Posts)
MumApr18 Thu 06-Dec-18 17:04:18

Looking for some other opinions if possible please! Currently on maternity leave, due to return mid January - was told today that they are asking me for voluntary redundancy. They have asked myself and the person who has covered my work whilst I've been away and one of us is likely to go. I feel like I would be the one to face the chop if it came to it as I haven't been there as long etc.
Spanner in the works is that I have a mortgage application due to complete in January and need to still be employed at that point as, obviously, the mortgage is dependant on my income. However, even if I was unemployed for a few month I could rely on savings and partner's income to pay the new mortgage.
I'm fairly certain that the other person up for redundancy isn't going to volunteer. Could I drag out the process by not volunteering either? I do like the company but don't mind finding a new job if I have to. I just need the process to take until after this mortgage has gone through.
Other question is that they are only offering statutory redundancy pay - would I have a leg to stand on to say I will volunteer IF they enhance their offer?
Thank you in advance - my head is fried!

meepmoop Thu 06-Dec-18 17:07:35

Could you negotiate your redundancy until the mortgage is cleared. When I was made redundant it took a while to go through as I was put on gardening leave for the notice period after having two meetings to discuss my (non existent) options

Piffpaffpoff Thu 06-Dec-18 17:08:28

Now, I might be out of date here, but when I was in a similar situation 10 yrs ago, I was protected in a redundancy selection process because I was on mat leave. It was a random little piece of positive discrimination legislation. Someone who knows more about it than me will be along shortly I’m sure!

Needadoughnut Thu 06-Dec-18 17:10:13

I've been through redundancy and I think you can definitely negotiate better terms of you're doing it voluntarily

Bobfossil4 Thu 06-Dec-18 17:11:04

As far as I’m aware, if there’s a job available then it legally has to be yours. Let me look that up

Bobfossil4 Thu 06-Dec-18 17:15:12

If you are made redundant during your maternity leave, regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 (see extract below) states that a woman on maternity leave must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, if one exists, as soon as her post is at risk of redundancy.
Your employer must consider whether a suitable alternative vacancy exists between the time your redundancy becomes known and the time when your maternity leave period is ended by redundancy. The terms and conditions of this new job must be not substantially less favourable than your original job. You should be given first refusal of any suitable alternative job and you should not have to attend interviews as you have priority over other workers being made redundant (who are not on maternity leave).

www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/redundancy-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

LIZS Thu 06-Dec-18 17:18:32

Surely your position is legally protected so it is your cover who is potentially redundant. There should be a consultation process which is unlikely to be concluded by January.

MumApr18 Thu 06-Dec-18 17:36:41

Thank you everybody! That's really useful.

They have offered pretty rubbish terms for voluntary redundancy - stat redundancy pay and notice period. Do you think if I say them "I will take voluntary redundancy IF you enhance your offer and my employment does not end before, say, the start of Feb?". In theory they could just refuse this, do the consultation process and make me redundant anyway right?!

meepmoop Fri 07-Dec-18 08:08:24

I don't know but I doubt they could make you redundant over the person filling your role.
They can only make you redundant if they can prove it's not because you're on maternity. But if it's only you're job going it should stay with you as the other person is covering
I was made redundant on maternity as they shut our local office and the only other jobs were 6 hours away

MumApr18 Fri 07-Dec-18 12:24:28

Just to update - bad timing but was doing the formal application for the mortgage today and had to declare the redundancy (mortgage fraud not to).
So yeah, now having to lose the new house, my job, my company car and it messes up my partner's work plans and my son's nursery. All in one fell swoop!

LIZS Fri 07-Dec-18 14:02:47

But you are not redundant yet!

SassitudeandSparkle Fri 07-Dec-18 14:05:49

Have you said you'll take the redundancy? I'm confused about what you've declared to the mortgage company, are you under formal notice of redundancy now?

Bombardier25966 Fri 07-Dec-18 14:12:01

You have to declare if you've been given notice of potential redundancy.

Good on you for being honest, but it's a really crappy situation.

MumApr18 Fri 07-Dec-18 18:02:12

No, I've not taken the redundancy but it asked you to declare if I was aware if I was at risk of redundancy, which I am. If the lender were to contact my employer they would be obliged to say that they were considering making me redundant.

MumApr18 Fri 07-Dec-18 18:04:05

@Bombardier25966 I'm hoping for some serious good karma now after being honest. I need it!

Honestly feeling so low right now - gone from having everything in motion for a lovely life to back to square one...well minus squares if there is such a thing as I'm now likely to unemployed!

Alfie190 Fri 07-Dec-18 18:49:38

I was protected in a redundancy selection process because I was on mat leave. It was a random little piece of positive discrimination legislation.

We do not have positive discrimination in the UK. You might have been protected because your employers were ignorant but you definitely were not protected from redundancy because you were on maternity leave.

It goes without saying that somebody should not be made redundant or should be assessed unfavourably because they are pregnant. But that is quite different to being untouchable!

If I were made redundant because somebody else was pregnant and I was not I would sue the employer and I would most definitely win.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 07-Dec-18 21:17:06

From maternityaction.org.uk

“Miss W’s employer decided to merge two jobs into one, making one person redundant, in a restructuring exercise. The employer interviewed both employees and offered the job to the other person, making Miss W redundant. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that was unfair dismissal as Miss W was on maternity leave and she should have been offered the job as it was the only suitable alternative vacancy. She should have been offered the post as soon as the employer became aware that her post was redundant and that the newly created position was a suitable alternative vacancy.
The EAT also said that if there are a number of posts available, the woman on maternity leave should be offered a suitable alternative vacancy but she can be considered alongside other employees for other posts.
Sefton Borough Council v Wainwright EAT 2014”

Piffpaffpoff Fri 07-Dec-18 21:21:25

From citizens advice website. Note the bit I’ve put in bold. People on mat leave must be given any suitable alternative before anyone else. This is what happened to me.

Suitable alternative job if you’re on maternity leave

If you‘re made redundant while you’re on maternity leave, you have the right to be offered a suitable alternative job before it’s offered to any other employee. The terms and conditions of the job mustn’t be substantially less favourable to you. If they are, it won’t be considered a suitable alternative job and your employer won’t have to offer it to you.

If your employer offers you an alternative job they know you don’t want to do or won’t perform well in, this could be pregnancy and maternity discrimination. But the fact that the employer thinks an alternative job is suitable but you disagree doesn’t necessarily mean it’s discrimination.

If there’s a suitable alternative job, you shouldn’t have to apply for it or be interviewed for it. It must be offered to you even if you’re not the best candidate for it or if you would not have been offered it had you had to compete with colleagues who were also being made redundant.

If there’s no suitable alternative job, the employer can make you redundant but must continue to look for a suitable alternative job until your contract comes to an end.

squadronleader87 Fri 07-Dec-18 21:27:33

I was part of a major restructuring while on maternity leave. My substantive post was deleted but I was offered a suitable alternative due to the legal provisions others have mentioned. I was offered the post first, before any other candidates.

I would suggest speaking to ACAS and also your union if you have one. Both were great with me.

Loraline Fri 07-Dec-18 21:28:47

Companies can't make people redundant. It's the job/role that is made redundant. Am I reading right that the role remains but right now someone is covering it while you're off. Is that person not on a fixed term contract then? They can't make your role (and therefore you) redundant and then give it to someone else.

MumApr18 Fri 07-Dec-18 21:38:03

It's a tricky one - basically we do the same job and can cover eachother's work but the amount of that work has decreased since I've been on mat leave (tbh because the other person hasn't managed it properly and the wider company hasn't helped) and now both of us have been asked to apply for VR and only one will be picked to stay.
I am fairly confident that I wouldn't be the one picked to stay as I haven't been there nearly as long and the other person was technically my "senior". Therefore I think VR and being able to negotiate a package to leave is a better option than going to a consultation - am i reasoning that correctly?
With regards to the maternity legislation about similar posts being offered there are no similar post available as we work in a tiny satellite office. Would need to relocate to do anything else in the company which I can't do.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 07-Dec-18 21:48:26

My reading of the situation is that they are downsizing from two roles to one, and as the single role would be deemed a “suitable alternative” then you are legally entitled to it because you are currently on maternity leave. So if you wanted to stay, you can, because of this particular rule. But I’d speak to Acas, citizens advice or your union, if you have one.

MumApr18 Fri 07-Dec-18 22:16:57

@Piffpaffpoff The way you say that, you're right. The thing is that I don't really want the role as it would involve much more travel etc (which I can't do with baby). Previously the travel was split so the other person did most of it.
I think they know that I wouldn't want to do the role which is why they have offered us both VR - i think they know how it will pan out!

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