I was made redundant while I was pregnant and transferred to a temporary position which was maternity cover. This was only on paper as my old job plus holiday took me up to the start of maternity leave. In the past month or so I have been informed by HR that the lady who I was covering on a temporary maternity basis has resigned and her job would be mine and I could do part-time hours as a job share. I went in to work yesterday to discuss hours etc. and I was offered a different position again. We came to an agreement of the hours I would work, but when I asked about the pay they told me that this role was less money than what I was originally on before being made redundant. Please can you tell me if they are allowed to do this.
Your right to return from maternity leave is affected by the length of your leave. If your maternity is six months or less, you have the right to return to the same job you had before. If your maternity leave is more than six months, your employer can offer you a suitable alternative but only if it is “not reasonably practicable” for you to return to the same job.
If you had previously been offered the same job (but now on a permanent basis as the person you were covering has resigned), you should ask why it is not reasonably practicable for you to have this job on your return. If this role is now redundant, you should be taken through a redundancy procedure and given preference for any alternative roles.
Assuming the role is not redundant, but some other reorganisation means that your employer claims that it is “not reasonably practicable” for you to return to that role, the suitable alternative job should be offered on “no less favourable terms”. You should not be given a pay cut if placed into an alternative role.
Obviously, if you will be working fewer hours by agreement, then a proportionate drop in pay is permitted.