I returned to work earlier this year after maternity leave on reduced hours. My return to work interview is where these hours were agreed verbally and I was told my title and job description would change and that the person I trained to do my previous role would remain in that role. It was also verbally stated that I’d get paid for extra hours. We are now almost half a year later. I have no new title, job description or written brief of my role. I also do extra hours and despite chasing them to confirm how I claim these I get ignored. What are my rights?
You returned to work after a period of Maternity Leave in early 2017 and agreed to return on reduced hours with a new role and job description and an agreement that you would be paid for any additional hours worked. As I understand matters you are yet to receive confirmation in writing of the new working arrangements and are finding it difficult to claim for the extra hours worked.
When you return to work after a period of ML which is 26 weeks or less, you are entitled to return to the job in which you were employed before your absence with your seniority, pension rights and similar rights as they would have been had you not gone on ML and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have been applied had you not been absent; i.e. you have the right to return to exactly the same job you left and to be treated as if you had never been absent. When you return to work after a period of ML which is longer than 26 weeks then you have the same rights, except that if reinstatement in your old job is not reasonably practicable you employer can offer you another job which is both suitable for you and appropriate for you to do in the circumstances. It appears that you have agreed to return to a different role, but have not received written confirmation of this change nor payment for the additional hours that you have worked.
If you are getting no response from your managers in relation to the written confirmation of the change to your role, then the best way to move this forward would be for you to request a meeting with HR to discuss what you/they think your current role involves, ask for written confirmation of this and also raise the issue that you appear to have missed out on additional pay for hours worked over and above those agreed on your return. If this does not resolve the matter, you should submit a formal grievance about the way your return to work has been handled in relation to the fact that you have not yet received a written confirmation of the changes to your terms and conditions and been under-paid for additional hours worked. If this doesn’t resolve matters, I would suggest that you take further specific legal advice in relation to possible next steps.
Should you require any further advice, please contact Tracey Guest on 0161 672 1425.
*Lucy Flynn assisted in answering this question.