Haven’t heard back after flexible working request: ask the expert

I am currently on my 27th week of maternity leave I am due to return to work once my SMP ends. I made a request to my employer for flexible working hours a month ago. As of last week I have had no response and have issued another letter to chase a response as I need to book a plc at nursery etc. I have heard through employees that there was a contract review which was lost. At this time all employees were informed and there was an informal mention of redundancy. I have since been informed by a colleague that they have had a subsequent meeting to confirm there will be another contract review in January and no redundancies at this time. My question is this: What should I do re my employers lack of response to my requests (I assume they are waiting to review the work in a few weeks)? Also are they allowed to completely ignore the law and not respond until they want to? Can I be made redundant (I assume it would only be 1 or 2 jobs lost) and as the whole department will not be closing should I still have a job to return to after OML? And a similar job after AML? Also have I been discriminated against end if I was not informed of any loss of contract which could effect my job

Your employer is required to invite you to a meeting within 28 days of receipt of your application for flexible working. They have failed to comply with the time scale and I therefore suggest that you submit a grievance and state that they are in breach of the Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2002.

Your employer can potentially make an employee who is maternity leave redundant; however, Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, states that, if it is not practicable by reason of redundancy for an employer to continue to employ a woman on maternity leave, the employee is entitled to be offered a suitable available vacancy with her employer. This gives the woman priority over other employees who are at risk of redundancy, even if they are better qualified for the job.

Finally, you should be consulted if there is any changes in the organisation that affects your role and if your employer does not consult with you because you are on maternity leave then you may potentially have a claim for discrimination. It may be that your employer has not consulted with you as your role has not been affected.

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