Should employees be given more rights on when and where they work in light of the Covid...read more
I have worked at the same company for 8 1/2 years and throughout this time was promoted to a senior position within the branch – I asked to attend a Supervisors course back in 2006 and have this on email, but it never materialised. Others within the branch were sent on these courses and fast tracked through promotion and were promoted to my managers early last year as soon as I became pregnant. I have been subjected to what I see as a campaign of humiliation and bullying and I have had no support from the management. Indeed I have been told off when I have complained about attacks. I was in tears at work every day. I advised that I feared this was all just an excuse to remove me from my job, but this was dismissed. Now I am on annual leave before taking my maternity leave and on the 2nd day of my annual leave I received an e-mail from the HR dept advising me to urgently contact work and that due to streamlining processes 4 people in the branch need to become 3, and that I am one of those affected, that I have to attend a meeting while on annual leave and that the decision will be made in 2 weeks. I do not know if I have a case but I have been through so much stress and heartache because of all this (since I became pregnant) and now there will only be 3 people anyway as I am on maternity leave until next year so this just seems like the opportunity they have been waiting for to use as an excuse to get rid of me.
The first point that I would raise is that it would be best to sit down with a solicitor and discuss all of the particulars of your complaint. However, I have set out my response below:
An employer has the right to make you redundant whilst you are on maternity leave. However, the reason for you being selected for redundancy cannot be on the grounds of your pregnancy. However, from the comments that they have made to you it sounds as though they are following the correct process in that they are evaluating all 4 employees and will then confirm which employee is at risk of redundancy, which as you say is likely to be you as you are likely to score poorer than others due to being in receipt of a written warning. Even though you are on maternity leave the Company are still required to consult with you and should be more flexible with places to meet or whether to hold such meetings over the telephone. The other special right as a pregnant employee is that if there are any suitable alternative roles you should be given priority.
In relation to your complaint about your colleagues, did you raise them as formal grievances or did you simply make a verbal complaint? If it was a grievance I consider that you should respond/raise another grievance to HR about the swearing incident and set out that you raised a grievance and they have not responded to this in the appropriate manner as per their grievance policy and that they have failed to follow the grievance policy due to your pregnancy.
There is the potential that you have suffered sex or pregnancy-related discrimination, but to be able to advise as to whether you have prospects with your case I would need more detailed information.
It may be that if you raise enough complaint about potential discrimination and appeal the redundancy decision (if you are made redundant) you may be able to negotiate with the Company to reach an enhanced redundancy package.