Changing my hours on maternity leave: ask the expert

I am due back from maternity leave and have been told my job is now a full time role (I worked 4 days, one from home). They have offered a different role in an office 1.5 hours away for just 3 days and will reimburse travel costs for the first year. They have refused to pay the extra travel time. Is redundancy my only option?

If your position is made redundant due to a restructure whilst you are absent on maternity leave, this is an exception to the rule that you are entitled to return to your job that you were doing before taking maternity leave.
In relation to the redundancy process, you are entitled to be treated in the same way as colleagues who are in the office in terms of consultation and the duty to consider alternative employment. In addition, where it is impracticable for the employer to continue to employ you whilst on maternity leave because of redundancy, you must be offered any suitable and appropriate alternative that is available. A woman on maternity leave takes preference over other colleagues being made redundant and the duty on the employer is to offer a suitable alternative job, not simply to just give you the opportunity to apply for it.
If your employer has offered you a job that you do not consider suitable (i.e. in this case due to the travelling time), you can refuse this on the basis it is not a suitable alternative and request to be made redundant.
This gives a general overview only, based on the information available at the time of writing. It cannot be relied upon in any particular case. Specific legal advice must always be considered to include consideration as to whether the legal position contained has changed since publication. For further information and advice, please contact Lemon&Co Solicitors on 01793 527141 or visit their website: www.lemon-co.co.uk.


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