Up against someone on maternity leave

Hi, 

My colleague and I have the same role, and my company want to delete one of our posts. This means that the person who stays will do both roles, and the other will be made redundant. This is part of a larger restructure within the department.

My colleague (who is in the same role as me) is on maternity leave. A Google search said that the firm must ensure that people on maternity leave come back to substantially the same role as before. Therefore, I am not sure whether there is much point fighting for the job, as it looks like a foregone conclusionthat I am going to be the one made redundant.

Have I understood the situation correctly?
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  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,571
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    I don't see that as being a reason for picking you,  more like running scared of any comeback from making a person on maternity leave redundant.  It shouldn't make any difference to a fair and proper selection process but the least hassle option is often taken.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,817
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    Sc80 said:
    Hi, 

    My colleague and I have the same role, and my company want to delete one of our posts. This means that the person who stays will do both roles, and the other will be made redundant. This is part of a larger restructure within the department.

    My colleague (who is in the same role as me) is on maternity leave. A Google search said that the firm must ensure that people on maternity leave come back to substantially the same role as before. Therefore, I am not sure whether there is much point fighting for the job, as it looks like a foregone conclusionthat I am going to be the one made redundant.

    Have I understood the situation correctly?
    Legally no, as I understand it, but in the real world....

    It is my understanding that being on maternity leave does not prevent genuine redundancy. Remember it is, technically, a post that is redundant, not a person. The normal criteria that would be used to select which person goes in a situation like yours should be applied.

    However, as Molerat has suggested, those on maternity leave are often treated with "kid gloves" for fear of a discrimination claim. That said, it works both ways and were that to happen you may have an unfair dismissal claim!
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783
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    edited 6 February 2023 at 4:44PM
    Well I don't like the sound of that employer!  Getting rid of one worker and expecting the other one to step up and do both jobs? Hopefully the one left behind with a job will be getting double pay?

    You could do worse than contact acas - https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

    Employers cannot just do as they wish, there are certain rules they all have to follow.

    And as for the person on maternity leave, she'll be treated the same as everyone else, I hope, if the employer is allowed to carry out such a Dickensian act. I imagine that the two of you will have the same opportunity to be interviewed and assessed in the normal manner.

    BUT - you do need to check with acas to ensure that the employer is operating within Employment Law. If they are not, an Employment Tribunal can be considered. But acas can advise about that. (Employment Tribunals do not cost anything).

    Don't let this employer get away with treating their staff like this, it's barbaric.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • Ibrahim5
    Ibrahim5 Posts: 995
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    It sounds to me as though you have assessed the situation correctly. I don't see why they would make you redundant while she is on maternity leave though because they won't have anyone. Probably wait for her to come back first. We used to have women who would have 3 babies in quick succession. You didn't see them for years. If you like the job maybe just carry on and see what happens.
  • Don't talk yourself into the position of accepting redunadncy  If you want the job you need to work for it, if not you make the employers selection process a lot easier.

    I did have a colleague who was on materinty leave and there was a reorganisation and she was one of the people made redundant.

    Barbaric? Not in anyway whasoever.


    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid


  • Thanks for your comments.

    There is a locum working the mat leave position at the moment so if they choose the person currently on mat leave I suppose the locum would carry on and I would go.

    In terms of fighting for the position, I haven't been in the post very long (less than a year), but can show that I have made big improvements during that time. 

    If you were the one choosing who to keep, what do you think would be big impact selling points which would encourage you to choose a particular candidate?
  • It depends on how the redundancy process is carried out. The company can use a scoring system to decide which person is best suited for the role. They can also make both roles redundant and create a new one and ask both of you to interview for it.

    In my previous jobs, I've witnessed 2 redundancies, and in one company, they prioritised giving roles to those on maternity leave or about to go on maternity leave.

    In the other one, they made a woman who was about to come back from maternity leave redundant based on the scoring system. 
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,345
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    Big selling points are previous annual ratings (even for a different role), ability to work in the team, dependability, willingness to learn, value added to the department. 

    What gets blurry is what cannot be absolutely quanitified.  So you can produce 10% more widgets than someone else - you win.  You can produce more widgets than someone who was 8 months pregnant because she are can't bend over as quickly, has to take breaks due to morning sickness - it may be considered a tie.   

    Some managers will work to get rid of women (or not hire them) due to having to deal with maternity issues the same as some will not want to work/hire someone with a disability.  Some will get to the point where 2 people are considered equally good and, subconsciously, downgrade the one who is more habitually leaves work on time to catch a train or is off sick or didn't come to the Christmas party.  If you know your manager and their manager well you may be able to better judge yourself what your chances are.  

    Failing everything else have you talked to your manager/HR about this?
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    Sc80 said:
    Hi, 

    My colleague and I have the same role, and my company want to delete one of our posts. This means that the person who stays will do both roles, and the other will be made redundant. This is part of a larger restructure within the department.

    My colleague (who is in the same role as me) is on maternity leave. A Google search said that the firm must ensure that people on maternity leave come back to substantially the same role as before. Therefore, I am not sure whether there is much point fighting for the job, as it looks like a foregone conclusionthat I am going to be the one made redundant.

    Have I understood the situation correctly?
    Hi

    Either the others or I have misunderstood your question

    What I think you are aking is, does she have more rights over you on return.

    IMO, the rights you read on Google if thre has been no reorganisation/redundancy etc

    Consult union/HR/ACAS if you need to for clairty

    Good luck

    PS - it could be they seek volunteers and she wants it

    pps - I asked for redundancy when they offered at our place before I jacked it in - guess waht, they said no. Though we could never prove it it was in our judgment based on if you got on with the manager, did a good job and rarely off sick - so i never got it just as i expected - a yea later I left anyway (to those that will say that against the law, I know that so does everyone but diffuclt to prove)
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