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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48774
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a member of staff who i CAN ONLY DECRIBE HAD JUST HAD

Customer Question

HI
I have a member of staff who i CAN ONLY DECRIBE HAD JUST HAD A PADDY BECAUSE HER MATERNITY PAY HAS RUN OUT.
She has not put qnything in writing to me and is now asking I make her redundant which I can do. I have had a couple of converdations with her re return to work but nothing definate and nothing in writing.
Today she requested a meeting - in the meeting I have told her that I need to know what she wants to do as I have to plan for the business.
I also requested 8 weeks notice of return to work as I have staff already covering her that I will have to let go.
She has told me that she was unaware that her maternity had run out even though she has tha payslip and I put "final payment" on her bank payment.
I expleained I can not make her redundant just so she can claim benefits. I explained that whilst on maternity she is still accring holiday pay and that this weill be paid at the end of her maternity period when she lets me know what that is.
we have discussed two date in October previously but nothing has been put top me officially in writing. Following guiedence from the .gov web site I have assumed she will be off for 52 weeks unless she confirmed in writing otherwise.
I also tried to explain that it is her responsibility to manage her maternity in her own circumstances, I cant second guess whats happening.
I alos offered to take her back sooner than 8 weeks but this is unacceptable as she can not afford childcare and will be working for nothing.
where do I go now?
She has basically stopped out of the office and told me I am manking her and her kids homeless.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all. How long has the employee worked for your business?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
05.01.15
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that was the start date
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst she can try and make you feel guilty about this, the fact f the matter is that there is a clear legal position on this and whether she likes it or not her rights will be determined by law, rather than what she thinks is fair.

The pay someone gets during maternity leave is determined by law and by contract. So if you offer her any company maternity pay then this would be detailed in her contract or policy and if you do not, then she would get the statutory minimum as determined by law. There is not much you can do about that and the fact it will eventually run out or be severely reduced.

If she was unhappy with going on no pay then she should have arranged for an earlier return from maternity leave. It is up to the employee to decide how much of her maternity leave entitlement she wants to take, up to a maximum of 52 weeks. This 52 week period is the expected time of return unless she advises you otherwise. If she wants to return earlier than that then she needs to advise you in advance by giving you 8 weeks notice, although you can accept a shorter notice period if you wanted to.

If she is unhappy about the fact her maternity pay has run out and cannot return earlier than planned then sadly that is her own issue and not something you can be blamed for. Ignore the emotional blackmail and just stick to the rules – you seem to be telling her the right things and going about this the correct way already so continue in that way.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should now write to her to ask her to confirm her position and confirming that I can not make her redundant as her role is still valid.
She wants to be made redundant so she can claim benefits! I am not prepared to do that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also I'm still not sure when or if she is coming back
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

You certainly do not have to be making her redundant just because she wants to claim benefits. In fact if there is no genuine redundancy situation you cannot make anyone redundant anyway, that would be unlawful. So you will have to tell her that there is no redundancy situation at present and you cannot make her redundant so even if that does not suit her situation, there is sadly not much you can do about it