Q And A
Job being changed while on maternity leave: ask the expert
I am currently on maternity leave. I am head of a small specialist team. I am at a senior grade, but officially I am one grade lower than most of the colleagues I work with with an equivalent amount of responsibility. Before going on leave my work started a job evaluation process to resolve inconsistencies in grades around the organisation. As part of this, my job description was revised. I was happy with this because I felt it now properly reflected my role and responsibilities and was hopeful that the inconsistency in my grade would be resolved or at least would be subject to a fair review. The job evaluation process was then suspended so the organisation could focus on a reorganisation instead. My work is currently going through that restructuring process and I am concerned that my role will be diluted and some of my management responsibilities moved to a new post, namely a new manager post created above mine. I have had no consultation to date on my post or intentions with it and have not been sent the full briefings that have been given to all staff. I was invited to one about two months ago, but it was cancelled and not rescheduled. I have been sent emails with brief summaries of all staff briefings, but I can't access the full information remotely. I have requested full copies of all of these now. Proposals I have seen via a colleague show that I would report to a newly created senior manager post who would also manage another team. The new senior manager post is vacant, but would match about 50% of my current post. The other 50% would cover an area where I have no experience or interest. I am now feeling very concerned that these changes are moving forward in my absence without my input. I am worried that existing issues in my post will be disregarded and I will either have to return to a lesser/demoted role or apply for a new post, which is theoretically at the right level, but contains other functions where I have no experience. Am I in a redundancy situation here?
Answer by Tracey Guest
Your employer should be keeping you up to date on the restructuring process. You should contact HR and ask them for an update if you are concerned you are not being kept fully up to date.
Tracey Guest is head of employment and a partner at Slater Heelis in Manchester. She specialises in employment law and is also a working mum.