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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45351
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm currently on maternity leave and three issues are bothering

Customer Question

I'm currently on maternity leave and three issues are bothering me a bit. One, i have a car park pass which all employees are able to use in city-centre car parks for both business and personal reasons - my company have cancelled my pass and won't issue me with another. They have stated this is because im on maternity leave. Is this legal? Secondly, there has been a promotional opportunity in work and I wasn't advised of it. Should they have let me know? And third, my own manager is leaving and my team structure is being reorganised. Again, I've had no notification - I only found out about the restructure, my manager leaving and the promotional opportunity through a third party. Should I expect to be informed of opportunities and also changes that may potentially affect my role upon my return to work? I'm feeling rather 'left out' if I'm honest!
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Please can you tell me how long you had been employed at your company, before going on maternity leave. Please can you also advise whether you have a contract?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ben, I've been employed for 19 years snd do have a contract.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hi there. OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I've also been on maternity leave previously and had no problem using my pass throughout. I know this was the same for colleagues.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Many thanks for your patience. You certainly have grounds to be concerned and to be honest, annoyed. It appears that the employer is likely guilty of discrimination because they are treating you less favourably by reasons of you being off on maternity leave. First of all, under law a person on maternity leave retains their usual contractual terms and benefits whilst on maternity leave, except for those relating to remuneration. So in effect you cannot expect to be paid the same during maternity but all other terms should remain the same. Therefore the pass should not have been withdrawn because taking it away from you simply for being on maternity leave will likely be discriminatory.Similarly, you should not have been left out of any promotion opportunities, if they were relevant to you. Failure to inform you of these or simply failing to consider you because you are off would again likely be discriminatory. As to the reorganisation, unless that affects you directly at the time it could be something which is forwarded to you as and when the employer feels necessary but again you should be kept in the loop as it would affect you when you return to work.So based on what has happened the are certainly grounds for potential discrimination and you can consider taking the matter further.This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can follow to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. It's certainly useful to hear my suspicions about the legality of my situation confirmed by an expert. I look forward to continuing our discussion.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. I can certainly continue in more detail, in the meantime please leave your rating for the advice so far and then I will prepare the further response, many thanks
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45351
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. If you wish to take the matter further you have a couple of options. One is to go through the formal internal grievance procedure. This brings the issues to the employer’s attention and requires them to investigate them and deal with them. They could come to a decision to rectify them, such as changing their approach and ensuring that these things do not happen again, or they could still include you in the applications process if it is not too late. You can appeal the outcome(s) if you are unhappy with them. Failing that you are looking at a potential discrimination claim in the employment tribunal. What you are looking for is compensation for the injury to feelings resulting from the discriminatory conduct. There is however only 3 months from the alleged conduct to make the claim so time is already going to be ticking. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits. So you could find that you initiate the conciliation process and an agreement on compensation s reached without you having to even issue a formal claim.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks Ben. Re the car park pass - there's nothing about having one in my contract of employment. But I've had one for 15 years and have been able to use it for personal use for that whole time. My colleagues also have this benefit. Does it matter that it's not specifically mentioned in my written contract? Or is the fact that it's been a long and established benefit enough to count it as 'contractual'?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
You are likely to be able to argue that the pass has become an implied contractual term through ‘custom and practice’ so even if it is not mentioned in the contract, the fact you have had it so long makes it contractual anyway.

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