Can my role be changed after maternity leave?

Before I left to maternity leave, they told me that they are going to divide my job between one of my colleagues and for the second part they are going to hire someone to give away some of my colleague work that she can do the important part of my job and her job. I didn’t know that they are not going to give my job back and make the temporary role a permanent one. Obviously my colleague doesn’t want to give my tasks back, so now they are offering me a completely different role,  which has only administrative tasks, at the same rate of pay. My old job description and the new role don’t match at all. The new role’s purpose is to support all administrative activities across the company. I did marketing only before. Can they do this?

When returning from additional maternity leave you have the right to return to your previous role, unless it is not reasonably practicable for you to do so. You have stated that you passed parts of your role to other employees, so unless there is a solid reason why it is not reasonably practicable for the role to be returned to the way it was prior to maternity leave, you may have a case for maternity discrimination.

In your employer’s favour is the fact that you are being offered the same salary. I would imagine they are trying to argue that this is a reasonable alternative role. They should, however, offer you an explanation as to why they believe it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to your previous role. If they cannot give you a satisfactory explanation I would advise you take legal advice, many practices offer you a free 30-minute consultation and they would be able to look at all the details of your case and review whether you could pursue a claim or not.





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