Should I have been advised of possible redundancies while on maternity leave?

I work two days a week since returning from maternity leave a few months ago. I previously worked full time up until having my baby. Last week I was told there may be redundancies if we lose the account we work on. They are still waiting for the company to confirm if they will continue the contract with us or not and will hopefully know soon. However, the client has delayed giving an answer so we may not even have an answer then. I just wondered if I should have been advised of this before I returned as, given the circumstances, I may well have returned for more hours if there was a possibility I would be made redundant in the future.

I’m afraid they they don’t have to inform you early if the first notice of redundancies didn’t affect your job directly or if they didn’t know if your role would be affected. When Companies make redundancies there are rules around how much time they will need to give to when making any changes.

Consultation should begin in good time and must begin:

•at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 20 to 99 employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less

•at least 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 100 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less.

If your Company is making less than 20 redundancies then there is no fixed period of consultation required, but your Company will still need to discuss this with you.

As long as you have more than 2 years’ continuous service you will be entitled to a redundancy payment: all of your years service should be calculated whether you have worked full or part time, but the amount will be calculated on your part-time salary only, due to you only working part time currently.

You could offer to work full time as an alternative to redundancy if this is an option for you. Also as you work part time you might not be at risk due to the lower amount of hours you work and you could agree that you are willing to work flexibly with other teams.

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