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  • FIRST POST
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 24th Jan 18, 9:53 PM
    • 12Posts
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    Jojayne86
    Being made redundant whilst on maternity leave
    • #1
    • 24th Jan 18, 9:53 PM
    Being made redundant whilst on maternity leave 24th Jan 18 at 9:53 PM
    Hi. I have just been told I'm being made redundant. I am 3 months into my maternity leave and so want to know if I have any rights. I am having a telephone consultation Friday afternoon and want to be ready for any questions I have. This has come at a really bad time for me (not that there's ever a good time) and I am really worried. I am also wanting to buy a house this year, will all this effect my mortgage etc and do I buy quick as I am ready financially we have just been too picky.
    Thanks so much in advance for any advice
Page 1
    • kimplus8
    • By kimplus8 24th Jan 18, 9:57 PM
    • 676 Posts
    • 2,078 Thanks
    kimplus8
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 9:57 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 9:57 PM
    I don't have any advice to give you but didn't want to read and run. Im so sorry this has happened to you. I hope you get it sorted, I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me will be along to help
    Dave Ramsey and Martin Lewis are my Money Saving Heros.
    • daisy23169
    • By daisy23169 24th Jan 18, 10:02 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    daisy23169
    • #3
    • 24th Jan 18, 10:02 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Jan 18, 10:02 PM
    What are the circumstances? E.g. business closing down and everyone's being made redundant or reducing two identical roles into one role or just your specific role is at risk? We can't offer advice without more information!
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 24th Jan 18, 10:35 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    • #4
    • 24th Jan 18, 10:35 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Jan 18, 10:35 PM
    Hi, the business is still staying, it's going through a restructure so my position will go, they basically can't afford management roles anymore (mine being one of them) I'm assuming they may offer me another position in the company that won't be a management role on less money, but that's just a guess. Thanks
    • daisy23169
    • By daisy23169 25th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    daisy23169
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    Would you want to accept the lower paid role or would you rather get made redundant and look elsewhere? How long have you worked there?

    If a suitable alternative vacancy is identified, this should be offered to you as you're on mat leave and if you refuse a suitable alternative vacancy then you could forfeit redundancy pay. If an available vacancy is on a lower salary, you could argue it is not a suitable alternative vacancy.

    If you are made redundant, your employer has to pay the rest of your SMP entitlement even though you're only 3 months into mat leave.

    Is tomorrow's meeting the first consultation? Get all the info about what roles are remaining and whether they consider any of them to be a suitable alternative to your role. Find out what they are proposing. Ask for job descriptions, salary info for the vacancies etc. Ask if they would be willing to offer a period of pay protection if you accept a lower paid role. Find out if they are offering any enhanced redundancy. Then have a think about all the options/come back here for further advice once you've got all the details.

    If tomorrow is your first consultation, you don't have to make any decisions on the spot.

    You should definitely not try to buy a house quickly and not mention that Your job is at risk. Your mortgage provider will ask if you are aware of any impending changes to your employment and will likely ask outright whether you are currently at risk of redundancy. Lying would be mortgage fraud.
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 25th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    Hi thank you for your reply. Yes tomo is thefirst consultation. I will post on here when I have the information.
    Jo
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 26th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    • #7
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    Hi. I have just had my consultation call. My job role is completely going in the company. They have said if I was to take a similar role it would be in a store in Manchester (I'm In Preston) my next option is to look at lower position roles and a lower pay grade. As I am classed as a deputy manager I'm not allowed to apply for brand manager role as my skills don't come into that job title.
    In my maternity pack it states "You can return to the Same job with the same terms and conditions following your ordinary maternity leave period.
    You can return to the same, or if that is not resonably practical a similar job following your additional maternity leave period, on the terms and conditions
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 26th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    • #8
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    *that are not less favourable to those you had before you went on maternity leave"

    Does this stand for anything?
    If I don't take the less pay grade jobs I will have to take my redundancy of what the goverment state, so no enhanced redundancy from the company.

    These are not classed as 'similar' jobs and by no means match my current wage.
    I can take a 4 week trial in a position I may take and if not suitable I can then take redundancy. They have also said I can choose to go through all this when my maternity is up in September Instead of now, but then surely I'm missing out on positions? As all this is to go into effect from March.

    Any advice would be so appreciated
    Jo
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 26th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • 4,642 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #9
    • 26th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    Their conditions are those of the law. But the law does not guarantee you a job if there is no job. Effectively, what they are saying is that your job will be redundant in March, and at that time, if there is no suitable alternative post they will issue your notice. But if you want they will allow an extension to issue it in September at the end of your maternity leave. They don't have to do that.

    The question here to put back to them is, if you choose September, can you try out any possible suitable alternatives in the period between March and September? Because that would allow you more time, and if one want suitable, another might be. They don't have to agree to that, but the fact they are prepared to allow that extra time suggests that they are not averse to being a little more flexible.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 26th Jan 18, 5:08 PM
    • 10,725 Posts
    • 8,982 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    It is unfortunate that your role is being made redundant while you are on maternity leave.

    A company cannot be forced to maintain a role if it no longer meets business needs. They have offered you the most suitable alternatives that are available. Would it not be sensible to take one of the positions offered and stay there until you find something more suitable elsewhere? You will at least still be in employment.
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 27th Jan 18, 12:53 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    Hi Thankyou for your replies. They haven't actually offered me a job yet, they are waiting on any vacancies to be released and then I can see what I would see as being a suitable alternative. The only Issue I have is the pay, is pay protection something I can ask for? What if I proposed to take a non management role at a 30 hour contract (rather than the 39 I'm contracted too) on the same pay? This way they save 9 hours a week. I see this being favourable to me, is it worth asking? Thanks
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 27th Jan 18, 8:51 AM
    • 4,642 Posts
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    sangie595
    Hi Thankyou for your replies. They haven't actually offered me a job yet, they are waiting on any vacancies to be released and then I can see what I would see as being a suitable alternative. The only Issue I have is the pay, is pay protection something I can ask for? What if I proposed to take a non management role at a 30 hour contract (rather than the 39 I'm contracted too) on the same pay? This way they save 9 hours a week. I see this being favourable to me, is it worth asking? Thanks
    Originally posted by Jojayne86
    You can ask anything you like. Provided you understand that they don't have to agree. Pay protection is usually contained in policy. If they don't have such a policy, then they are unlikely to offer it to one person. But asking does no harm, as long as you don't feel offended if they say no. Remember that redundancy policies exist to treat everyone the same, and so exceptions for individuals shouldn't happen.
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 27th Jan 18, 11:39 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    Looking into the being made redundant whilst on maternity leave, I have more rights than most. They don't want to make me redundant they have stated that and what does that do for a company, doesn't look good. I don't want to take a job on less pay as on returning to work it would be less favourable to me, surely they should be looking at everything they can to keep me? I know I have the option to take redundancy but Im not in the position to do that and I don't want to loose 14 years. I'm supposed to be enjoying my maternity leave not stressing over loosing my job, I also have child care to think about as I had flexibile working agreed just before I went off.
    • daisy23169
    • By daisy23169 28th Jan 18, 11:13 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    daisy23169
    The additional redundancy rights during to mat leave really only extend to them having to offer you any suitable alternative role over others who are not on mat leave. If there are no suitable alternatives available then you're largely in the same boat as those not on mat leave, in that your role is ceasing to exist so the choice on the table is redundancy or a completely different job with the company.

    As Sangie said, you can ask for whatever you like, but it sounds like there's a number of you at risk (as you've said they're getting rid of your whole level of managers) so that slightly weakens your negotiating position as your employer is likely to want to avoid treating everyone completely differently so may want to avoid getting into pay protection deals with individuals etc.

    There's no real reputational threat here for them either so I'm not sure that works as a negotiating tool. They're not trying to get rid of one lone employee on mat leave, they're removing a management level from their structure and one of several affected employees happens to be on mat leave. Completely justifiable as a business reason so doesn't look bad (I'm not saying it's not rubbish from your perspective- just explaining that it's really quite standard from a business point of view so they probably won't be feeling like they're vulnerable and need to negotiate).

    Having said that, if you don't ask, you don't get so you might as well set out what you would like and see if they agree to it. Nothing to lose and if your employer is a supportive one, then potentially everything to gain!
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 28th Jan 18, 11:21 AM
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    sangie595
    One further thing to add - just because something is less pay doesn't necessarily make it unsuitable as alternative employment. The days when that was the case are long gone.

    And if you can't afford to be redundant, then arguing something is unsuitable due to being paid less is cutting of your nose! The alternative to being paid less is being paid nothing, not being paid the same!
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 28th Jan 18, 8:19 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    Thank you for your reply.
    I'm a deputy manager and there is a brand manager above me. I have to been a brand manager in smaller stores in the past and have worked my way up to a deputy in a bigger turn over store. They are saying with my title 'deputy brand manager' I am not allowed to apply for the new management title in the sore that the other 2 brand managers are allowed to apply. I know on paper the brand managers have a slightly more skill set but under Reg 10 even if a suitable alternative is payed at a higher salary or on better terms and conditions
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 28th Jan 18, 8:28 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    *sorry didn't finish and Put the wrong emoji.

    ..."than it would otherwise have supported. Assuming the content of an available role is suitable and appropriate, we suggest that the wording of Reg 10 implies that it should be offered to the employee even if this means that the terms and conditions need to be bettered in order to ensure that the new contract is not less favourable than the old" (My partners dad has these books as he worked for employment tribunal)
    I'm trying to do my own research, as I really don't see how I have been told I am not allowed to apply for the new management position in my store.
    • daisy23169
    • By daisy23169 28th Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    daisy23169
    I imagine your employer is going to argue that the content of the new role is not suitable and appropriate as an alternative to the current deputy role, but it is to the current brand manager role.

    They've obviously identified the new role as a suitable alternative to the manager role, which is why they're not letting anyone else apply for it - they've got to offer it to one of the current at-risk brand managers.

    If you really believe that the new role (based on the actual content of the job description rather than the salary) is a suitable alternative to your current role, then you need to argue this with your employers. If you can get the new role agreed as a suitable alternative then you (and all the other deputy brand managers) then go into the pool for that role. If a suitable alternative is identified for an employee on mat leave then it should be offered to her, so in theory, if you can convince them that the new role is a suitable alternative then you should be offered the role (unless there's other people in that pool on mat/shared parental leave).

    However, and I genuinely don't mean to be unkind here, I'm just giving you honesty- your employer already knows everything I've written above, and if they wanted you to have that role then they could have designed the restructure to make sure you got it. They haven't done that, which means they want one of the brand managers in that post, so chances are they have purposely designed the new management role so that it is a suitable alternative for the brand manager and not the deputy role, so it may be hard to convince them (or ultimately a tribunal) that it also matches up with the deputy role.

    Obviously I don't know what any of the roles entail, or how competent your HR dept are at designing a watertight restructure so I'm not saying don't pursue it. First step is to go through all the job descriptions and work out if you think the new role does look like it could be a suitable alternative based on the role requirements and responsibilities. If you do, put a case together and then present this to your employer.
    • Jojayne86
    • By Jojayne86 28th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jojayne86
    Thank you for your advice. I have actually done the role of brand manager in my store for 12 months 2 years ago when the current brand manager was on her mat leave. I am fully capable of the Job requirements of that role as I have covered it and even interviewed for it against other better qualified managers and got it. It was my decision to step back down to deputy as my next step would have been to travel to another store to continue to be a 'Brand manager' the new role will have been re designed for the brand manager to have training I assume as it is 'new' and so she won't have all the requirements herself. As you say the salary may not come into it but I do know it's only a difference of around 4K between mine now and this new role.

    Another matter I haven't mentioned which has only just come to
    light, a new member of staff started on Monday 22nd as a full time member of staff (to cover me essentially) under a grade just below me (so say a supervisor) on a permenant contract. I got told on Wednesday the 24th I was essentially to be made redundant. This role she has in my store surely would be my 'suitable alternative' I am very confused as to how they have Allowed this told to be taken on knowing full well the deputy on Mat leave may have to be made redundant. Do I have any leg to stand on to challenge this? Thanks again for all your help
    • daisy23169
    • By daisy23169 3rd Feb 18, 3:52 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    daisy23169
    Sorry I've not been able to post again sooner. Have you had any further consultation meetings? Any new information?

    Re your last post - in order to argue that the new management role is a suitable alternative to your deputy role, you need to concentrate on the role profiles rather than your own individual experience. It's not about the fact you have previously held the brand manager role. You need to demonstrate that the content and responsibilities of the new role are similar enough to the deputy role for it to be suitable, and if you argue this successfully then the new role becomes a suitable alternative for anyone in the deputy role, not just you. It's about the roles involved, not the individuals who are in those roles.

    If you believe the new supervisor role should be a suitable alternative, you should argue this in the same way- focus on the roles and why they are suitable comparators.

    I'm assuming you are offered the opportunity to submit counter proposals? This is your opportunity. You could propose that the new manager role should be considered a suitable alternative and you should be added to the pool for that role.

    You could also propose that the supervisor role should be a suitable alternative and challenge their decision to recruit someone into that role when they were aware of the impending restructure.

    There is a process called bumping which I will attempt to explain... basically person A's role is to be made redundant, and person B's role would be a suitable alternative but for the fact that person B is in the role. Using bumping, person A is given person B's role and person B is dismissed by way of redundancy due to the restructure.

    I have only seen this used in situations similar to yours, where it's basically the safest course of action- e.g. person A has 2 years' service and/or some protection which makes them a bigger threat of claiming unfair dismissal (such as mat leave protection). Meanwhile person B has less than 2 years' service and no protected characteristics so is a safer bet to get rid of as they're less of a risk in terms of bring action.

    It's complicated, but in your situation this is what I'd be looking into and thinking about suggesting in terms of a counter proposal.

    Are you a union member? Do you have legal cover on your home insurance? It's worth getting some proper advice if you want to look into the above.
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