Redundancy while on Leave of Absence

I joined my current employer in 2007.
I took a years maternity leave from December 2018 - December 2019. I chose to take a years unpaid leave of absence immediately after and I'm due to return December 2020 - I am no longer on Maternity leave I am only covered by the rules of LOA.
My employer has advised they are making redundancies but I'm not in scope for either voluntary or compulsory redundancies as I'm not included in the payroll budgets and by taking LOA I gave up any right of a role to return to.   
I am a member of a union so I have contacted them but does anyone know the laws surrounding this I cant find anything online. I have 12 years service with the company and it was my preference to be made redundant so I'm very disappointed . 
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Comments

  • I'm just curious but why do you think not being "included in the payroll budgets" is relevant?  And what does it mean*?

    I assume you are still on the payroll (but currently unpaid until LoA ends) and that you remain an employee?  If so and there's no job for you to return to when your LoA ends, I would have thought you'd be made redundant.  What do the terms of your LoA say?

    *There's a difference between what I would recognise as a funded establishment and the funding (ie the "payroll budget") for it, and the actual individual staff in post.  If you are entitled to be made redundant, the fact there's no "budget" for you at the moment because you are on LoA is irrelevant - I would have thought.  Remember it is posts not people that get made redundant - in theory...
  • Masomnia
    Masomnia Posts: 19,506
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    There's no right to be made redundant unfortunately, and I can see why an employer would be keen to avoid making a new mother redundant if they can. 

    You can offer to take voluntary redundancy but if those are doing the redundant role couldn't do your role there's no good reason for the employer to add to their redundancy costs.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
  • Masomnia said:
    There's no right to be made redundant unfortunately, and I can see why an employer would be keen to avoid making a new mother redundant if they can. 

    You can offer to take voluntary redundancy but if those are doing the redundant role couldn't do your role there's no good reason for the employer to add to their redundancy costs.
    Pretty sure the point being made here is not that KerryT is being told to go back to work when she would prefer to be included in the round of redundancies, more that she is being let go without any redundancy package because her LoA meant she gave up her right to expect a position to return to.
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    edited 15 August 2020 at 12:22PM
    What's the organisations published LoA policy? You say you chose to take a years unpaid leave. Did the employer guarantee that a job would still exist on your return? 
  • KerryT
    KerryT Posts: 12
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    I'm just curious but why do you think not being "included in the payroll budgets" is relevant?  And what does it mean*?

    I assume you are still on the payroll (but currently unpaid until LoA ends) and that you remain an employee?  If so and there's no job for you to return to when your LoA ends, I would have thought you'd be made redundant.  What do the terms of your LoA say?

    *There's a difference between what I would recognise as a funded establishment and the funding (ie the "payroll budget") for it, and the actual individual staff in post.  If you are entitled to be made redundant, the fact there's no "budget" for you at the moment because you are on LoA is irrelevant - I would have thought.  Remember it is posts not people that get made redundant - in theory...

    Thank you, I agree, being on LOA should be irrelevant.
    In the announcement for redundancies they said that after making other cost saving measures they now need to make savings via the payroll budget. As I am not being paid they wouldn’t make any savings by making me redundant and so they would not be including those on LOA in either VR or compulsory redundancies. The terms of the LOA policy say that I forfeit the right of a role to return to but doesn’t refer to being excluded from redundancies. 


  • KerryT
    KerryT Posts: 12
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    What's the organisations published LoA policy? You say you chose to take a years unpaid leave. Did the employer guarantee that a job would still exist on your return? 
    The organisations policy states that I forfeit the right of a role to return to, which I understood however there’s is no reference to being excluded from redundancies. I believe when I’m due to return in December (compulsory redundancies complete in October) there will be no role for me and I will only be paid PILON when effectively the role would have already been redundant and I just won’t get paid the redundancy package.
  • KerryT
    KerryT Posts: 12
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    laxlau said:
    Masomnia said:
    There's no right to be made redundant unfortunately, and I can see why an employer would be keen to avoid making a new mother redundant if they can. 

    You can offer to take voluntary redundancy but if those are doing the redundant role couldn't do your role there's no good reason for the employer to add to their redundancy costs.
    Pretty sure the point being made here is not that KerryT is being told to go back to work when she would prefer to be included in the round of redundancies, more that she is being let go without any redundancy package because her LoA meant she gave up her right to expect a position to return to.
    Yes that’s it exactly it. I believe they are avoiding paying the full redundancy package because they can just wait until I’m due to return and then say there is no role for me, they will just need to pay PILON which in my case is 25% of the redundancy package. 

    I have been been told I can’t apply for VR as I’m not “In Scope” 
  • KerryT
    KerryT Posts: 12
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    edited 16 August 2020 at 6:51AM
    Thank you for the comments so far, as context, I believe the role I held before I took LOA will be made redundant.
    The issue of those on LOA has been raised to the employee consultation forum by another individual who has also highlighted that we are effectively being made redundant but not getting a redundancy package but there has been no answer from them yet. 

    Applications for VR close on Monday so I am considering applying and ask that they review my application as an exception - after all I have nothing to lose?

    I have also been in contact with my union who have offered to raise the issue and speak to company on my behalf so I will do that too. 

    The main issue i have is that I was not made aware that I would not be scope should I take LOA and if I was aware, that would have affected my decision to return or work . 

  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,223
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    According to this your rights are purely what is in the LOA absence agreement with your employer - as you say you signed away a right to a role to return to this seems clear to me that you coming back was entirely up to them. 
    Did you get enhanced maternity pay above the legal minimum? As this was probably contingent on your returning to work you will need to keep an eye out that they don't try to claw this back - hopefully they won't, but!


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  • k12479
    k12479 Posts: 698
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    If you aren't due to return until December, then surely from both your and your employer's perspective that is the time to consider what jobs, whether your previous role, a different role or indeed no role, are available for you. What's happening right now would appear to be somewhat irrelevant.

    There are a few career break policies online, mostly universities and local authorities. Those that don't hold a particular position open seem to generally have the gist of "we'll help you find a new role, but if we can't then we've done our bit", based on which I'm not sure even PILON would be due.
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