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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am currently on maternity leave, I am due to go back in 3

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I am currently on maternity leave, I am due to go back in 3 weeks, I previously worked mon, thursday and Friday and have arranged my childcare for these days, iv now been told that my days will be changed, still the same amount of hours but over different days, is my Employer allowed to do this?
Hello, how long have you been working there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
3 years in December
Did you have a contract in place which defined your working days?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My contract is an old one it says I work 28 hours any day from mon to Friday however iv cut my hours down since that contract to 24 hours which has not been amended
How long did you work Mon, Thu and Fri and how long was your maternity leave?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I worked mon thur fri for around 8 months and my maternity leave is 9 months
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 you performed before going on maternity leave. If the employer can show that it is not reasonably practicable to allow you to return to that job, they need to find you something that is both suitable and appropriate for you to do instead. So in this case it may not be possible to allow you to return in the job which you did on these specific days and you may be asked to work different days. 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. Case law has 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 you to return to your old job, this is not just a formality. In terms of taking the matter further, the options available to challenge this depend on what has happened so far:· If 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. Before you consider any formal legal action I strongly suggest you go through a formal internal grievance to allow the employer to deal with this directly. Also remember that you have the right to request flexible working and can make a formal request to work those days, which the employer can only reject on limited grounds. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi sorry to be a pain but you stated that I have taken additional maternity leave which is 6-12 months however 9 months is now the standard mat leave, does this change anything?
Also I have spoken to ACAS who have advised that my employer is not allowed to change my hours purely because someone else is doing them as I work in a nursery so we all do the same job, so I feel the reason she's changed my hours is to make someone else happy.
I have spoken with her and all she has done is offer me less hours I feel this is very unfair as Iv already arranged my childcare.
Hi, additional maternity leave is anything between 6 and 12 months so if you took 9 months off you would have taken AML. In contrast, Ordinary Maternity Leave is anything up to 6 months so if you had taken that your job would have been guaranteed on your return. As such it does not change anything as you have taken more than 6 months and your job is no longer guaranteed. A As mentioned, you will only be denied the opportunity to return to your previous job if it is no longer reasonably practicable to allow that. Also as I pointed out, a simple preference over someone providing maternity cover will not suffice. So if you are being denied the right to do your original hours because they have someone else doing them, that is unlikely to be a good enough reason and you should pursue this as discussed - grievance first, tribunal next. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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