Advice & Support

Put on the bench after maternity leave: ask the expert

I am due to return from maternity leave in March after taking a full year off. I contacted my manager in January to come into the office. During our meeting I was told there was no job for me. As an IT worker, I would be put onto the 'bench' where I would need to search for another suitable job in another location. The company has been making lots of redundancy during the past 2 years. I have asked why I have been put onto the bench. They say it's to do with demand from the client being reduced. I've been told I need to look for another job when I come back to work and they can't guarantee it will be in the local area. I have asked about flexible working and been told that when a job does arrive I need to have a chat during my interview to see if the job offers that. In the meantime I must come into the office. I feel like I am being put into a corner here. If the job does not offer flexible working and is further away from home which will causes childcare issues then they believe that's my responsibility to sort. In the meantime a voluntary redundancy notice has been issued. I have requested a quote. Are they breaking the law here. Would I still have a case if I took voluntary redundancy?

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Under threat of redundancy on maternity leave: ask the expert

Under threat of redundancy on maternity leave: ask the expert

I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and have been put 'at risk' by my place of work. We are currently going through a consultation period on new job roles. There are 12 of us under threat all considering applying for 4 new roles, although these roles are extremely similar the view of senior management is that they are significantly different.
My problem is that I am soon going on maternity leave. Where do I legally stand?
Some questions I would like answering are:
1) Would my 3 month notice period commence from the end of the consultation period and run into my maternity leave or do they have to be separate?
2) When calculating my redundancy pay would they have to consider my maternity leave period as continued service? They are currently arguing that because my notice would end before my two-year qualifying period and that I would not be entitled to anything. My argument is that any payments due to me should be worked out over the entire maternity leave period i.e Notice period for 3 months, SMP for 39 weeks, holiday accrued and also length of service during that time too.
3) If they are informing me that my job is redundant just before I go on Maternity leave, does that mean that I am not covered by the 'suitable alternative job' protection and am simply redundant?
4) If the answer to the above is 'yes' are they discriminating against me by me not being able to attend an interview as I would be on maternity leave?
I would really appreciate any help or advice you can give me, especially on my rights on returning to a job and redundancy payments.

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Part-time and made redundant: ask the expert

I work part time and am about to be made redundant. However, I previously worked full-time in the same role. Can I expect redundancy severance for the full-time years based on a pro-rata-ed full-time salary, or do I have to settle for all my years' service being calculated on my part-time salary?

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Do I have a case for constructive dismissal? Ask the expert

Eighteen months ago I was touped across to another blue chip company. I have 23 years experience. Earlier this year my team and I were offered an incentive leaving plan (ILP) which equates to a years pay tax free. My whole team took the incentive which left me by default with no alternative but to accept the ILP as the company said they did not have a role for me going forward. The company wanted to merge my teams worktypes into another part of the business to consolidate it in one place, I was asked to support the transition and by doing that I was offered an extension to my employment by three months which takes me to the end of Jan 2011 instead of 31 Oct 2010. In the meantime this strategic change was cancelled as not viable in the short term and for me to then employ contractors to replace my full timers to carry out the exact job. I now have a team of contractors being trained up by the full timers ready for end of Oct. My manager has told me I will also be replaced by a contractor team leader next year when I go!!! Can you advise if the role is still ongoing, which it is, and they are basically replacing me with a contractor whether I have a case for constructive dismissal or because they are employing contractors this is allowable in the eyes of the law.

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Variation of working hours: Ask the expert

Variation of working hours: Ask the expert

I’ve been employed as a nursery nurse for 14 years and have two small children aged five and two. Currently I work 16 hours a week (Thurs & Fri). My employer has asked me to work five days a week to which I said yes but only nine-two pm (this is to fit in with taking my older child to school and picking him up). I was waiting for this to be finalised and have just been advised that they now can’t offer me these hours and have said they can only offer me eight-two or three-six - obviously I can't commit to these hours due to taking/collecting my son from school so have told them no. I am concerned that they are making it awkward for me and are trying to push me to leave. Can they do this? If they advise me that they can’t offer me anything else other than the above and ask me to leave - do they by law have to offer me redundancy?

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