Advice & Support

Wife demoted after return from maternity leave: ask the expert

Wife demoted after return from maternity leave: ask the expert

My wife has recently returned to work after being off on maternity for 11 months. Whilst she was off, her job was advertised as a permanent post under a more junior title but with the same responsibilities. A person was hired but resigned before my wife returned. Upon returning, she agreed with her employer that she would work a four-day week and a new contract was issued. Like her previous contract, it stated that she would report direct to the managing director. However, she now finds herself in a position where all her business is now to be reported to another non executive director and that this director will sign off any commissions due. In all but title, she has been demoted. Upon returning she checked with the MD, finance and HR that her commission structure would remain the same as before maternity. All confirmed that it would. Since then she has overachieved against her targets, but the company have chosen not to pay her commission. Other employees have been paid their commission. Is this discrimination and what should she do?

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Should I include unrelated self employed work in cv after a career break: ask the expert

Should I include unrelated self employed work in cv after a career break: ask the expert

I am returning to work after a career break.  During my break I set up my own business providing Bridal Hair & Make-up services.  Putting this in my CV kind of puts employers off as it’s not related to the corporate roles I am applying for.  Should I leave this out or keep it there so it shows that I have still been working and keeping my skills fresh even if it’s in a different field?

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Forced to go full time? Ask the expert

Forced to go full time? Ask the expert

I'm due to go on maternity leave, but have been asked to go full time upon my return, having worked part time since my last pregnancy. I asked them to consider increasing my hours from 20 to 30, but they have said that my role requires a person to be present at all times and job sharing just wouldn't work. I am in a marketing role and they have said that recruitment agencies will find it difficult to source anyone willing to do the remainder of my hours if I stay with 20 hours or job share. Can they force me to go full time - will they push me to leave if I refuse to go full time? They want a decision before I go on maternity leave.

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Turned down for Maternity Allowance: ask the expert

Turned down for Maternity Allowance: ask the expert

I have just been refused maternity allowance because I haven't paid enough National Insurance contributions. Could I pay what I owe and still get maternity allowance?

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Have I lost right to contractual maternity pay?: ask the expert

Have I lost right to contractual maternity pay?: ask the expert

 I am on a fixed-term contract which both myself and my line manager believed to be ending in March 2015, by which time I would have qualified for occupational maternity pay. However it appears that my employers have no record of the most recent contract extension I signed, and still have me down to end a few months before when I won't have even qualified for ordinary SMP (despite 21 months' continuous contracted service and months on 'bank' before that). The difference in income for myself over the next year between Maternity Allowance and the months' wages I am losing and occupational benefits is £11k. I have a colleague also affected by this data loss (we signed the same day), but she is not pregnant. Work are 'investigating' our claim that this paperwork existed. But I'm not hopeful from their tone. Where is the best place for me to find out anything else I might be entitled to to support myself, my husband and new child? Work has offered me possible bank hours, but without my job we will have to move in with family in another county a four-hour drive away. I am so stressed out.

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