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Hello, I am checking to see if you have managed an answer for us?
Hi, sorry I had some connection issues earlier. I will get an answer out to you this evening, just about to travel home so will respond when I am back. You will have the information in good time before the meeting tomorrow
Hello again, according to Reg. 18 of The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, an employee who takes Additional Maternity Leave (i.e. between 6-12 months off) is entitled “to return to the job in which she was employed before her absence, or, if it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to permit her to return to that job, to another job which is both suitable for her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances.”
This means that there is no guarantee of a return to the job she performed before going on maternity leave. If the employer can show that it is not reasonably practicable to allow her to return to that job, they need to find her something that is both suitable and appropriate for her to do instead.
A common issue that arises is whether the reason for not being reasonably practicable to allow the employee to return to her old job is actually justifiable. Case law has suggested that formal reorganisations can amount to a justifiable reason, whereas a simple preference over someone providing maternity cover will not suffice.
It is also possible for her to be made redundant, as long as the employer follows a fair redundancy procedure, shows there is a genuine redundancy and that there are no other alternatives available, as well as ensuring that she is not selected for simply having been on maternity leave.
If they want her to go they could offer her a settlement, like they have done, but there is no hard and fast rule of how to calculate that – in the end it would be a sum they are willing to pay and she is willing to accept. But as a minimum I would say she should look at her notice period (which must be a minimum of 5 weeks), her outstanding holiday pay and perhaps the equivalent of her redundancy pay (she can calculate that here: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay)
In terms of taking the matter further, the following options are available:
Each of the above claims will be made in the employment tribunal and she can seek compensation for loss of earnings and/or injury to feelings. Before she goes to tribunal she will have to go through ACAS and try to negotiate a settlement so there are further negotiating opportunities before she has to make a formal claim.
Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you
The answer is pretty much what we have found out. They have not offered any consultation. The matter was brought up at a meeting she requested. If we hadn't requested the meeting then who knows when it would have been brought up. The recruitment arm of the company is no longer and they have moved the other person to another job. They have deemed that her job therefore no longer exists and to quote her boss "there are no other roles available, and, the office is maxed out in terms of space" Yet they are still advertising for and admin assistant on their website (which we took a screenshot of yesterday). Obviously there was no warning of impending redundancy and this it seems is both unfair and possibly discriminatory They have made it quite clear (by email) that they don't want her back... CAB seem to think she has a case based on what has happened. She is meeting her boss this morning away from the office to discuss the offer and as a settlement to demand more or a job.
If there are genuinely no suitable jobs for her then the employer may have to go down the redundancy route although the consultation for that is still required. They may be advertising for an admin assistant but if that is not a suitable job for her they do not have to offer it. There are certainly arguments she can raise to try and negotiate a settlement but if she is unhappy with the offer on the table as mentioned she also has the help of ACAS to try and conduct further negotiations before she considers the tribunal route.
Please let me know if you need any further help from me as would be happy to assist?
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks