Ben, I have just been notified of possible redundancy by my employer. I am currently on Maternity leave. When the role profile Maternity cover was being drawn up there were several iterations between my line manager and HR due to the disparity between the level I was paid at and the actual work I was doing. This resulted in an ad being placed position that bears little resemblance to my actual job with duties considerably less challenging than mine. I handed over my work to a colleague at the level above me and was told he was helping out in a temporary capacity. The Maternity cover role was filled by another individual. I asked my line manager on three occasions opportunity to apply more senior role should it become permanent. On my last day at the company during a group meeting a structure chart was shown with the more senior role showing as permanent. The senior role is not at risk of redundancy. Have I been treated unfairly?
ADDED at 1.26 pm
Whilst on leave my line manager called me to advise that another post at the higher level had become available due to workload and invited me to interview . When I asked him if he thought my preference time hours had any bearing on my chances of success he advised me that I was getting ahead of myself as the company had gone external to find someone with the necessary expertise and experience (I had been recently transferred to the role from another area and did not have a vast amount of experience). He emphasised how arduous the interview process was likely to be and gave me less than one week to prepare interview. I then became ill and sent an email advising I would not be attending the interview (but did not disclose why).
, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is your colleague above you who you handed your work to retaining these duties, or has a separate senior position been created?
A separate senior position was created. The position I was offered an interview another senior position. To my knowledge the person covering my Maternity leave was given the second senior position and my Maternity cover post has been vacant since September.
I'd appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience please Ben. Many thanks.
, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied and have only just come back online. First of all you need to consider whether the senior position was still available at the time your current job became at risk of redundancy. If that was the case then you should have potentially be offered the chance to apply because in redundancy situations the employer has a duty to offer you any suitable alternative employment that may be available at the time. Assuming you were qualified to do the job, it should have been offered to you to try and avoid the need , however if it was already filled then that requirement would not have applied.
Saying that, if the position became open when you were on maternity leave and it was considered something which you could have applied and had the experience to be considered for, you should not have been denied the opportunity to apply just because you were off at the time. Employees on maternity leave should be given the same opportunities as other employees when it comes to vacancies that may arise whilst they are off work. Treating you less favourably whilst off on ML can amount to discrimination.
In terms of challenging this you have the following options:
Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you
I think what you're saying is as follows:
The company failed to let me apply first senior position when I was pregnant this could have been discrimination but as the 3 month time limit has passed I have no case.
As I was invited to apply second senior position (even though I felt I was being told I was not going to be successful) I have no case.
However I still feel that the role I am being made redundant from is not the job I had prior to going on Maternity Leave. I feel I was demoted on my last day at the company without explanation and now that lesser job is redundant. Is it the case that because more than three months has passed I have no option but to accept?
in terms of claiming discrimination, yes it is likely that the time has passed to claim. But if you are made redundant from this job you can still consider a claim dismissal because the 3 month time limit there starts from the end of your employment
Thank you Ben. Last question I hope....
how would you word the grounds unfair dismissal claim?
It would be impossible to give you full details of how to word a claim as that will have to go into more detail than we can offer here but your main argument would be to compare the job you were contracted to do and the job that the employer is now attempting to make redundant - any large differences between the two must be flagged and you would then be challenging their decision to make you redundant from a job you never actually did
Can I clarify anything else ?
Thank you Ben, very helpful.
you are most welcome