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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6264
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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Hi, I work for the NHS. It is in my contract that once i have

Customer Question

Hi, I work for the NHS. It is in my contract that once i have been on my maternity leave and return to work i must complete a minimum of 3months NHS services before I can leave the position or all maternity pay provided by the employer must be paid back.

Whilst on maternity leave I was told my position will no longer exist and there was no suitable role to be slotted into, therefore, I would have to apply for other positions.
*I returnned to work on 12th Februery 2013
*My original position will officialy no longer exist on 31st March 2013

As directed I looked at the available positions and applied for the two I felt I may be most suited to. I was called in for a 'matching' meeting where I gave an idea of the hours and days i'd be able to do. it was agreed they would remain as they were before my maternity leave (three full days a week).

A position was offered and my return would commence at the end of the maternity leave. Every employer and employee has been given a 4 week trial period to see if the role suits us, thus deciding if we would remain in the position or return on the redundancy line.

During the last week of my trial period my situation at home was completey turned upside down. the childcare i originally had, i.e. the father of my children is no onger there. and I can not find childcare i would be happy with at such short notice.

I spoke to HR and the managers of my new role and the only options of reslution were
1. the managers find a viable reason for me not being suited to the role (which they claim they can not)
2.I ask for a reduction in hours, which the managers are unwilling to provide as it would not be efficient towards the running of the department, therefore advising that I hand in my resignation in order to leave the position early however, short of the 3month payback period.

*I have not signed any contract officialy taking on the new role

*HR claim that as at the time of the matching meeting I met the criteria to fill the roll the personal changes that took place during the trial period are not a viable reason to find the role unsuitable.

I have made it clear the reason for asking to return to the redundancy line is not for the redundancy payment but because it will give me the opportunity to apply for night shift roles which I desperately need due to the change of personal circumstances. It gives the opportunity to provide potential employees with definate start date and I wouldn't be tied down to only applying for NHS roles. *as my experience is administrative (in no way front line) there are no night positions availabe.

*As of 12th March 2013 I will be entering my 5th week of work.

Please advise if I am right in feeling my HR department are simply trying to put me in a corner they shouldn't be. Considering my reduncy, no new contract, and circumstances, am I actually tied down to HAVING to accept this role and paying back three months before I leave?

If not, how would you advise I approach this and end it to my benefit?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, if the new role is not similar in skill or in status then it will not amount to a suitable alternative and you are entitled to take redundancy as an alternative.

Contractually they do have the right to claim back the maternity pay if you do leave before the end of the three months for whatever reason (unless there is a stated exception for redundancy in your contract or know it has been waived in the past).

The employer should try to accommodate you if you are struggling with childcare. You should put in a formal request for flexible working arrangements which the employer must consider.

I would suggest you check the detail of the maternity pay policy and flexible working policies.

All the best.

Please remember to give positive feedback. I will be happy to answer your follow on questions.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6264
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am aware that during an earlier redundancy movement one employee who at the time was on maternity leave and had been slotted into a suitable position successfully negotiated leaving work without 3 months service as well as recieve the redundancy payment.


my previous position was in the finance department as an accounts payable clerk. the new position is in patient information.

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
In that case you should raise a grievance on that basis that through custom and practice you have the right to leave without paying it back.

I would be grateful if you would give positive feedback for my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My new managers are trying to think of ways they can help me back on to redundancy. HR are determined I must complete my 3 months service or resign early.


Who should the grievance be raised with?

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Hello, thanks for leaving feedback! It should be raised with the correct person on the grievance procedure. Normally this would be your line manager. You should detail that you feel that HR are causing some of the problem.

There is a duty for them to hold a fair and unbiased grievance.

All the best.

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