I’m currently on maternity leave from my role as fundraising manager at a charity. I was working full time, but requested to become part time when I return. My boss said this should be fine and I would just focus on one area of my role. However, I’ve now been sent the role information. I’ve been told that my job can’t be made into a part-time role, but that they will offer me an alternative role. The new role is an officer role rather than manager and is £9k less salary wise. However, all the duties are things that I did in my manager role so I’m being asked to do the same duties for £9,000 less. Is this allowed? Obviously not everything I did in my manager role has been included in this new role and they are seeking to recruit a new full-time role to cover the rest of my old duties as I couldn’t fit it all in time wise and my company say the things that haven’t been included eg management of other staff are why the salary is so much lower.
Is the alternative role being offered as a new part-time role and is the new salary based on this? Also have you submitted a formal flexible working application? You should have the right to appeal if this is the case and it’s been rejected.
If they are offering a role with reduced responsibilities on a part-time basis, then I can see why they have removed some of the responsibilities to make the role part time.
It should be a possibility to negotiate over the salary and you can ask how they reached the salary that is being offered.
If the role is now being offered as an alternative to the full-time role, but is a full-time role but with less responsibility then this doesn’t seem like a suitable alternative and you have the right to say you wish to stay with the role you had before you went on maternity leave, unless that is no longer available (which can happen after the first 26 weeks of maternity leave).
At the end of maternity leave, you have the right to return to your original job. If that is not possible then a similar job on the same terms and conditions or terms that are no less favourable should be given. If a redundancy situation arises, you must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy if one is available.
I would advise that such a reduction in pay and responsibilities, especially when your original role is still there, and the alternative was only offered as you asked for part-time work (and it sounds like this then hasn’t been offered for either role) this could be seen as failure to allow a woman to return to her old job after maternity leave and could therefore constitute workplace maternity discrimination. I would advise you go back to your manager and ask to discuss this further, making it clear you are not happy with the alternative offer.