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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Employee returning from Maternatiy leave earlier than

Resolved Question:

Employee returning from Maternatiy leave earlier than planned. The role is no longer available in the business and we are struggling to find a suitable role. Feels like we should get legal advise.
What is the cost of consultancy to review case and suggest possible next steps
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year 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 1 year ago.

How long has the employee been working there, all in all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,6 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there and 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have received an email from the person, I will paste this into the reply as this is the document that has raised concerns:Thanks for your time on the call on Friday. Please see below a summary of items discussed, to ensure no misunderstandings occur.Refer back to conversation in February – discussed options of working from home, 3 day role
RP clarified - R&M not gone to Germany – BA has been doing it since Lee left, naturally fell under Bernie's responsibilities / role
When Lee left, shipping went to Germany
Lee leaving lead to a review - most shipments out from Turkey and promo from Germany, German warehouse out there so made sense to keep it there
Were hoping to develop R&M as a business unit – with KI and CC working on this, as business unit but nothing else developed from it
Also, BAT business has shrunk – currently approx. 6 R&M projects, R&M department didn’t grow, so didn’t move, doesn't exist as a departmentSuggested Role on TRAM / supply side – updating TRAM was being done before leaving, but CC has no relationships with suppliers – as CC was making TRAM updates before leave, RP didn’t see it as a role change – CC feels differently - as the work being done prior to maternity leave was always explained to be a one-off backlog clearance exercise (mainly involving Box). CC's expectation therefore was to come back to R&M as R&M Manager, as that was most of what her focus was prior to maternity leave. CC had been told everyone would do their own TRAM / Box filing / updating, that the backlog project mine was a standalone exercise to tidy up the systems prior to clients using this, then everyone had to do this themselves, so CC expected R&M afterwards as had been doing that.RP explained, clients and internal team not happy with R&M as it was as projects were taking too long to solve. Bernie’s technical knowledge, therefore has helped resolve issues where CC couldn’t. R&M projects not complicated. If you're involved in the design, you know more about how to resolve issues and get it done quicker.Need to work through a role going forward. Small business, not multiple departments with multiple sectors to move into, bearing in mind R&M doesn't exist.Develop role between us.
Thoughts – know things have changed, people have come and gone, RP to advise gaps etc. As such:
Halved in turnover. People who have left, have done so due to not performing, or their skills no longer needed, or their costs unjustified. UK overheads dropped and cut back quite a bit in the EU business. RL and JC left, which lead to CDM realising skills in the wrong places, ie RP and AM now estimating, this has prompted changes.
NRB leaving big change, share holder and director.
LM leaving, he shared lots of plans, but he didn’t bring what CDM expected to the table, he's now left the business.Areas needing work:1 - Data Management / Supplier sourcing and management, auditing – how to track, locate suppliers etc -
Tram – developed a lot – inventory management unit tracking, check in/out of promos
Promos now 70% turnover – TRAM is more integral, more projects with smaller value so more important than before
All spend lots of time on TRAM. Always the intention, so need to be using this for supplier management
Keep development updating feedback on this.2 - Business Development – commission based sales rep – not a part time role and doesn't fit my skills set
3 - Finance reviews – changes there on outsourcing and ways of working. Meetings to follow – no gaps here
4 - Engineering is stable but not for CC anyway due to skill set
5 - PM – some skills match, but not really suitable for part time basis – and can't guarantee 9am – 5pm – childcare is set hours, SC travels with work, so could have work to do and no childcare. CDM supports family flexi arrangements – IC joined for this, DL / TR have kids at home, but older, and with young child, need to be therefully when SC is travelling, so not idealNext steps - open discussion, work it through.Issue of salary raised – reduction in salary before pro rata, makes it difficult. 2014 GM role discussion – with problems in the business, should have addressed at the time but didn’t want to reduce salary then when salary would be reducing anyway due to maternity leave
GM is not a part time role, and GM role doesn’t exist, so not an option.Need to find something going forward that works for CC and business. Weak business, last year was really bad. Even directors affected by paycuts. CC needs to cover childcare, justify working and have career progression. Find something that keeps income where it is, for next few yearsDetermine - financial level and what the work will be coming back. Potential roles mentioned above only ones available.
Other option – part company – hopefully not. If so though, work out how it happens, hopefully reach agreement between us. Then if not, ACAS to help mediate.Open dialogue.Please let me know if there is anything here which is inaccurate or mscons
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you providing this information. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, so what assistance do you require specifically please? Are there any specific questions you need answering?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, The employee seems as though they are setting us up for a discrimination case and I am concerned as this is not the case. Based on the contents that I shared with you, does she have a case and should we consider appointing a lawyer to manage?Many ThanksRob
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long has she been on ML?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
11 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

According to Reg. 18 of The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, an employee who takes Additional Maternity Leave (i.e. between 6-12 months off) is entitled “to return to the job in which she was employed before her absence, or, if it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to permit her to return to that job, to another job which is both suitable for her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances.”

This means that there is no guarantee of a return to the job she performed before going on maternity leave. If the employer can show that it is not reasonably practicable to allow her to return to that job, they need to find her something that is both suitable and appropriate for her to do instead.

A common issue that arises is whether the reason for not being reasonably practicable to allow the employee to return to her old job is actually justifiable. Sadly there is very little case law on the subject and the only two main cases that have dealt with this may not be directly relevant. They have suggested that formal reorganisations can amount to a justifiable reason, whereas a simple preference over someone providing maternity cover will not suffice. The employer needs to show that there is a genuine reason which makes it no longer practicable to allow her to return to her old job, this is not just a formality.

So if there were genuine reasons for removing the role, nothing to do with her being off on ML and now there is nothing suitable that you can offer her then you may have to consider redundancy and this in itself is not going to be discriminatory. Sometimes these things simply do not work out – but just because it happened to someone who was on L does not automatically make it discriminatory.

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

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