Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Had you been consulted about the change prior to your return? Please can you also tell me how long you have been employed with the company?
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Sorry just before I finalise my response, can you please clarify - you say you are back for 4 months from ML but then say you are due back in October? So to clarify - how long have you been on ML for exactly, when did you go off?
Thanks for clarifying. According to Reg. 18 of The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, an employee who takes Ordinary Maternity Leave (i.e. up to 6 months off) is entitled “to return to the job in which she was employed before her absence”. Your terms of employment must be the same as, or not less favourable than, they would have been had you not been absent, unless a redundancy situation has arisen. If a redundancy has arisen then you have extra protection in a sense that any suitable alternative positions that may exist must be offered to you first, so you have first refusal basically.
In terms of taking the matter further, the options available to challenge this depend on what has happened so far:
· If your employment has not terminated but you are unreasonably being denied the opportunity to return to your old job, that could amount to pregnancy and maternity discrimination and/or unlawful detriment
· If you have been given an alternative job which you find unsuitable, then you could resign and make a claim for constructive dismissal and/or sex discrimination.
Each of the above claims will be made in the employment tribunal and you can seek compensation for loss of earnings and/or injury to feelings.
It is impossible to tell you how much you may get at this early stage as it would depend on whether you are able to find a new job and how long it takes you to do so and the tribunal also retains a fair bit of discretion in terms of what to award.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you decide 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you