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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46763
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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hi, i am thinking of making a complaint against my employer

Resolved Question:

hi, i am thinking of making a complaint against my employer for denying me a promotion opportunity on the grounds that I was an maternity leave and I need to know if I have a case, please. I work in a customer service position, dealing with romanian customers. I had my baby on the 8th of september, when my MAT leave started and a few weeks before I had an interview for a team leader position. Although i was not successful, I was informed that it was a very difficult decision and that my interview was brilliant but there was someone else better. while i was on maternity 2 more positions came up and after a discussion with my current team leader, the one who has done all my reviews so far, (also the one who speaks romanian and can appreciate our work from this point of view) i decided to come back from maternity earlier and apply. he has always encouraged and supported me. He asked our supervisors for me if I can apply and they said yes. 18th of January I had the interview, complete lack of enthusiasm from my interviewers and a few questions (I have asked my colleagues later on about theirs and they confirmed they had a full interview but I guess it would be very difficult for me to prove). 28th of January I received the feedback and my 2 supervisors said That i was not successful because my interview was nit good and they could see I was away. as they insisted on the fact that I was away for so long I have asked what exactly was wrong with my interview. they said my answers were more general and they couldn't see that I know exactly what was going in the team at that point. also that they are sure that if the interview was in about a month they are sure the outcome would have been different. at a point one of them said it was 'bad luck'. Again my qualities and previous interview was praised and although my answers were more or less the same to the questions (I had no interest to change a 'brilliant interview') they insisted it was not good. I told them that I feel like all my previous hard work and commitment was erased while I was away and the only thing that matters now is the interview but I was told that the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that my clleagues grew while I was away and had better interviews. Not only that the 2 candidates selected had poorer performances but disciplinary action was taken against them, one with final warning for breaching the security procedures. I would much appreciate if you can advice on this matter as I feel lost and I do not want to contact HR for further investigation in case I am wrong or have no case. thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer:

hi

Ben Jones :

Let me get my response ready please, I just need to type it all up

Customer:

sure

Customer:

do you need any other details?

Ben Jones :

No, thank you

Ben Jones :

You will have certain rights in terms of protection from discrimination based on maternity leave or pregnancy and the employer should not treat you detrimentally because you were either pregnant or on maternity leave. the usual issues with that are that the employer does not offer any promotion opportunities to employees on ML, because they are not in the office, but in your case this was not the issue and it appears the main problem is that they believed you performed badly due to the time you had been away from work. Because the reason you were away was due to your ML, the employer should have taken that into consideration and perhaps adjusted the scoring in the interview to reflect that. If they did not and took your performance at face value then it could be indirect discrimination on grounds of maternity because the employer applied a provision, criterion or practice which placed you at a disadvantage when compared to those not on ML. So the key is that they should have made allowances for your performance and the fact it may have been slightly below your normal performance because you were away on ML. It is on those grounds that a complaint can be made to HR, either informaly or through the formal grievance procedure.

Customer:

I see, is there any way I could prove this?

Customer:

or what would I need to prove it?

Customer:

tha internal procedures mention that interviews sheets should be kept but they make those as well

Ben Jones :

proving it directly would be difficult but you need to use the feedback which you were given where they have already informed you that they did not believe you performed well because you were away from work and obviously the reason you were off was your ML. The next step is to ask them directly if allowances were made for the fact you were away and for them to justify this was the case if they said they did

Customer:

and also, in case I am right what can I earn from doing it?

Ben Jones :

well there are a couple of options - if the employer agrees with your complaint they can decide to introduce certain changes, such as offering you a suitable alternative promotion. If they refuse to do anything or reject your complaint then all you can do is to take the natter to the employment tribunal and seek compensation for discrimination

Customer:

I see, what would you advice? could ot be enough to make them agree, it is a big company and they keep promoting fairness and no discrimination.

Customer:

and should I try to talk to my managers first before going to HR for advice?

Ben Jones :

There is no right/wrong way to go about this because it often depends on the employer and how they deal with it so that is impossible to predict. No harm in discussing this informally with the manager first before making a formal complaint and you may get their opinion n what they believe you should do as they will know the employer well and how they may react

Customer:

is there anything else I would need to know if I go on with it or what to expect?

Ben Jones :

you should not be penalised in any way for making this complaint because it would otherwise amount to victimisation so in that sense you should not be worried about pursuing this further

Customer:

do you have any links or any doocumentation where I can see the law about this, like the paragraph or somethins

Customer:

I tried to find something online but your ways are to complicated for me :)

Ben Jones :

Well the law that deals with this is the Equality Act 2010:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

It is a long piece of law though so don't get too lost in it. All you need to know is that gender/sex is a protected characteristic (includes maternity/pregnancy if you are a woman) and you should not be treated detrimentally because of it.

Customer:

okay, thanks a lot for your help.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46763
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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