Made redundant during maternity leave, but not informed

Whilst I was on maternity leave, my role as a coordinator has been made redundant. The company has not contacted me or informed me about it. I heard it from other colleagues. When I contacted the company for my KIT days, they told me that the coordinator job doesn’t exist any more, but didn’t say what job I will be returning for or whether I will be made redundant. I have had no answers to questions about this until two weeks ago when I was told my contract is as a systems administrator and that I will be returning to that job. However, I was made redundant from that job in 2019 and was then given the role of coordinator. I have therefore no idea what I am returning to. How can I be returning to a job I was made redundant from?

Hand holding sign which says Maternity Leave


I understand that whilst you were on maternity leave, your role as a coordinator was made redundant. You received no communication from your employer and you were in fact informed by your colleagues. You say that when you contacted the company for KIT days, they told you that the coordinator job did not exist any more. You were not told what  job you were returning to, nor that you had been made redundant. You questioned your supervisor, but didn’t receive any answers.

Once your maternity leave ended, you then took annual leave, following which you finally received answers.

You were informed that your role was in fact systems administrator and you would be returning to this job.

However, you say that your employer made you redundant from this role in 2019. At this point you received your job as coordinator, which you remained in until your maternity leave.

It is unclear what your employer’s intentions are here and why it has behaved in the way you have described. I would need to know more before I am able to fully advise. I would suggest that you enter into a dialogue with your employer, initially on an informal basis and if this doesn’t resolve the matter, on a formal grievance basis, to find out what has happened. You should make it clear that your role is (and has been since 2019) systems administrator. You should say that you were made redundant from this role and ask whether your role as coordinator has been made redundant and what your current role is.

Once we have answers to these questions, we would be able to advise further.

If your role has been made redundant when you are on maternity leave, and it is not reasonably practicable by reason of redundancy for your employer to continue to employ you in this role, you would have been entitled to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy to start immediately. It may be that your role has been made redundant and that your employer has placed you in the systems administrator role as a suitable alternative position, but without undertaking any redundancy process. Your employer may have done this consciously or unconsciously.

Alternatively, it may be that your employer does not understand your role and has made an error considering that you are in fact employed in the role of systems administrator and therefore this is the role you are returning to.

Please make further enquiries of your employer and do feel free to come back to us for further assistance. Note that any claim for unfair dismissal would need to be made within three months of dismissal (plus early conciliation time) and that any claim for discrimination would need to be made within three months (plus early conciliation time) of the discriminatory act.

*Helen Frankland assisted with this answer.

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