Advice & Support

Job no longer exists: ask the expert

Job no longer exists: ask the expert

I am due to return to work after Additional Maternity Leave and have been told that my old job 'no longer exists'.  I have been having discussion for 2 months about possible suitable alternatives, and while roles have generically been discussed, no formal job descriptions have been provided or made to me in writing.

I have now received a job description for a role and told that it is 'equivalent' to my old role.  My old manager is unable to provide me with any details of the role, including simple basics such as where it is based. They have also been unable to confirm whether the role is on the same Terms and Conditions, Salary, and Benefits as my previous role.

This was provided to me on e-mail just 1.5 days before my planned return to work.  I am a mum of twin boys and have reasonably tried to be flexible and open about what role I could take on, but now find myself in a position where I am potentially returning to a role which has never previously been discussed with me, where there has been no assessment of my Flexible Working request, and they cannot even specify location.  Given that, in my view, my employer has failed to provide me with any details of a new role in a reasonably timely manner, I feel I have little alternative but to leave.  I have 7 years’ service and feel very poorly treated.

Is there a case for a tribunal claim given the way my employer has acted in providing me so little information so late in the process, leaving me with, I feel, no option but to resign?

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Entitlement to bonus after being on maternity leave: ask the expert

Entitlement to bonus after being on maternity leave: ask the expert

During 2012 I had 9 months of maternity leave and worked 3 months (although 1 month of this was using up holiday). My manager recently told me I wouldn't be paid any bonus for 2012. Her reasons were that the bonus was based on performance and as I hadn't been in the office they couldn't make a judgement on this. She also mentioned that as I had received a big pay rise earlier I was relatively well paid compared to my peers. I wanted to check whether they were able to withhold a bonus for this reason. 

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Can I be forced to discuss flexible working during maternity leave?: ask the expert

Can I be forced to discuss flexible working during maternity leave?: ask the expert

I am due to return back to work Mid July 2013 following 52 weeks maternity leave. There has been a restructure in the company and I now have a new Manager. This Manager contacted me by phone approximately 4 weeks asking me what my intentions were on returning to work in terms of hours and days. I confirmed verbally that I was taking 52 weeks leave and that I would like to return on reduced days and hours. It was confirmed verbally that this was no problem and would be ok. However, I was then contacted two days later to advise that this may not be ok and that I would need to put my request in writing and have a meeting. I did this and have now had my request for flexible working turned down on the reasons that it does not meet the business demands and needs at this time. This call was pre-empted early and I was not going to apply for flexible working hours until I needed to. Can they ask me early what my intentions are? Things could change in the next 4-5 months for the company or myself and does this mean that I can now not put another request in nearer the time for me to return?

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Changing flexible working and work location after maternity leave: ask the expert

Changing flexible working and work location after maternity leave: ask the expert

I have been with my company for 2.5 years and am currently in my sixth month of maternity leave. I recently submitted my Flexible Working Application (FWA) requesting a change in hours from 9-5.30 to 8-4.30, remaining as a full time worker. HR subsequently informed me (via conference call) that my requested hours would not work in my role. Additionally the company has changed the support ratio and parameters of my role (including work location) whilst I’ve been on maternity leave and as such my original role no longer exists. When I challenged them on this I was told the person carrying out my maternity cover is able to meet the new location and working hours requirements. The implication was that I fall in line and accept the new arrangements with the knowledge that my temporary cover can easily become a permanent arrangement. I asked about alternative positions within the business, but was told that none existed. Agreeing with the new terms has significant implications for me. My original role was designed around flexible working; my employment contract states I am a home-based mobile worker. I also gave full disclosure of my medical condition (a result of childhood cancer) in the company medical questionnaire upon joining the business. The impact of my physical mobility challenges was also verified via a Workstation (DSE) Risk Assessment carried out by the local Health and Safety Manager. I have all of this documented. As such the business has full awareness of the difficulties a commute into central London presents to me, and the practical advantages that a ‘drive to work’ commute affords with respect to my physical mobility challenges. I feel they are consciously discriminating against me in terms of my disability and maternity needs as they aware of my medical history and the reasonable adjustments required. I now have a follow-up call scheduled with a company HR Manager this week. From a legal standpoint do I have any options that will ensure I maintain a role as per my current employment contract? Are they in breach of my employment contract? Are they legally allowed to change my flexible working status and work location without my consent? As an alternative I would consider a voluntary redundancy package, but is there a minimum standard I should insist on (e.g. am I entitled to ensure I am financially supported until the close of this year)?

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Given new full-time role I now don't want: ask the expert

Given new full-time role I now don't want: ask the expert

I have been working part time with a company for the past 5 years. Last year when I was pregnant we got told that a reorganisation was taking place and we were all at risk. When I was away on maternity leave, I was told that my role was at risk, and I could apply for a new role if I wished. I applied for it. After a few days I got a call from HR saying that they had taken legal advice and that I would automatically be given that role. I was very happy and said yes to the role. After a few days I got a call again and got told that this was a full-time role and as it was a new role they didn't have to meet my hours’ requirement. I was given time to think and get back to them. I said yes again. A few days later, I got the appointment letter for the new role. Unfortunately, things on my personal front have changed and we (family) have decided to move to a different city. My employer agreed to let me work from that city. However, I am now not very sure that I want the role any more. I think it will be difficult for me to cope with the role: it's full time and it involves a lot of travel (which was not there in my previous role). I went back to HR and said I was having second thoughts and didn't want the role any more. I have now been told that as I am now refusing the role it will amount to resignation and I will not be entitled to any redundancy. I will also now have to return the enhanced maternity pay I received from the company. I have also been told that I can do the trial period of four weeks if I want. As I am on maternity leave, it will be difficult for me to do the trial period. I would rather be made redundant and move on. Please can anyone advise me about my situation?

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