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I am currently on maternity leave and due to return to work in June. I have applied to reduce my hours from full time to 25 hours a week. Another colleague in my office has also asked to reduce her hours and even though no decision had been made on her application when mine went in, she has had her hours accepted on a tempory 3 month trial yet I have been refused mine. They have said that the hours left from me reducing and those of the other colleague (which amounts to 20 hours) does not warrant the cost and effort of training up a new employee part time and that we do not have adequate space within our department for another worker- even though there is adequate space and another colleague who also only works part time only works mornings so we could desk share. They also said that we wouldn't meet targets if I went part time and that work could not be rota'd fairly. Why weren't these reasons also said to my colleague? They went on to say that while I have been off on my maternity leave, my work has been covered by my team leader which has meant that some of her own work has not been done and this is another reason they are refusing my request.  I feel this is unfair as firstly I am not even there as I am on maternity leave and secondly, how they have arranged to cover my maternity leave is nothing to do with me, and if they haven't managed to fulfil some work then why have they agreed to my other colleague's request to go part time? Please can you help in any way. I am finding this very upsetting and stressful and it is ruining the rest of my maternity leave. I really do think I am being treat unfairly. View full answer >

Answered by: Louise Taft


I'm one of two producers on a weekly TV show and have a full-time contract. I've been at the company for 17 years. I'm also a single mum with no family support. I returned to work after a year of maternity leave. I had a meeting a week before my return date & I was told there was a lot of changes going on & they felt it would be better for me to move onto a programme that was more office based. This project would only take me up to June 2014 and when I asked what would happen to me afterwards they said they didn't know. Since being back I have heard office gossip that they are making my original role redundant - they hasn't been any formal consultation about this - but I asked my line manager and he said it was likely this would happen and they know they have to find me another job. Can they make my role redundant and keep the other producer (a male) there - why can they chose him over me? As I accepted to work on the other programme does that mean I have no rights back to my old job? When discussing the possible roles for me from June - I was offered a month of overnight edits for a short series so a significant change in terms and hours which I said I can't do. Now they have offered me another role just for two weeks which creates more problems for me with childcare than if I went back to my old job. I have no problems with my original role being made redundant due to restructuring, but it has to be done within the law and fairly. Can you advise on the law of this please? Also in terms of a new role what would the law see as a suitable alternative? My old job was Monday to Friday - fairly normal hours but the ad hoc late night. They are muting possibly working on a programme on a Saturday now. None of the above has been put in writing and I don't know whether I should do this. View full answer >

Answered by: Tara Daynes


I am 6 1/2 months pregnant. I currently have two main aspects to my role and report directly to the boss (CEO). The firm I work for has accidentally revealed that it is undergoing a restructure, and under the new organisation, my role is being split up. A new person is potentially being brought in above me (although on the same pay scale) and will be taking over half my current role and reporting in to this person will be someone responsible for the other half of my role, as well as a couple of other people. I am being pressed to commit to my maternity leave, but don't know where I stand legally. Whilst the two separate aspects of the role are busy and demanding, they complement each other in terms of challenge. I have been advised that the firm is expecting me to take up the lesser half of the role, which is not comparable to the other half in terms of career progression, challenge or indeed worthy of a full-time job. I have received excellent performance reports to date on both aspects of the role and have been at the firm for around five years. Please can you let me know where I stand?  View full answer >

Answered by: Tracey Guest

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