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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50156
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi I am on maternity leave and was about to return to work

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I am on maternity leave and was about to return to work when I found out that my new boss went to the person covering my maternity and asked her to come up with a role different to mine so that she could be extended. I manage that department so it's difficult for someone else to come up with a role that would then sit outside my department but be to do with it. This was all done without my knowledge and I wondered where I stood legally?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What has happened since? Have you returned from ML and is your old job still available? Please note I am mobile today so there may be a slight delay in replying, thanks
Customer: I have not returned yet and my job is still there but this new boss went behind my back. I phoned her immediately when I found out what was going on and explained I felt out the loop and that we should be aligned if considering a new member of my team especially if this person would be reporting to me. she was defensive and so i asked specifically if this person was to work on events (my remit) and she said yes as she obviously has similar skill set to myself. I asked if she planned for her to report to me and she perhaps she would work along side I run that department it makes no sense for someone to sit outside my team working on my teams remit....and I felt it was unprofessional to ask a temporary cover to do this..I haven't been out 6 months yet and I am returning to work at 6months so my job and department i didn't think should change especially without my knowledge or consideration. My boss was trying to rush this through before I got back but it seems I caught it jut in time. Since the initial conversation she has told me that she didn't mean for me o feel out the loop, that it wasn't a reflection on myself and he good work that I do. I explained that until I returned and better understood what was required of the team I wasn't able to do any analyses and make any recommendations and hat this should wait. She agreed but then said I should think about what sort of role I would like when I come back and suggested something different to my existing one. I'm no feeling quite vulnerable and suspicious and im wondering if she is trying to manage me out....where do I stand from the legal side...?
Ben Jones :

Hi, thanks for your patience. I understand from your reply that you are only taking 6 months’ maternity leave (i.e. just Ordinary Maternity Leave). If that is the case then according to Reg. 18 of The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, you are entitled to return to the same job in which you were employed before your absence". This means that 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 you are not permitted to return to the same job on no less favourable terms and conditions, or if the employer does not offer you a suitable alternative job, you could consider a claim of pregnancy and maternity discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal (if there is a dismissal) and/or unlawful detriment (if there is no dismissal). Before you consider any of these routes you should follow the employer’s internal grievance procedure to try and resolve this amicably directly with the employer. Of course, if that is not possible then these options could be the only way to take the matter further.


Hope this clarifies your position?

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer: I'm just wondering if I have grounds to raise a grievance. I don't think they will make me redundant yet...
Customer: If I raise a grievance I won't be able to report to that manager and will then need to ask for a different reporting line and wonder if they might argue that it prevents them from making changes that the business needs...
Ben Jones :

You can certainly raise a grievance but why would you not be able to report to that manager if you do so?

Customer: I just felt it would be difficult having complained about her to then report to her...
Ben Jones :

That is not uncommon, many grievances are raised about someone's line manager or direct report it does not mean that you will have to stop reporting to her though

Ben Jones :

Has this clarified your position?

Customer: Yes thank you for the help.
Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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