Redundancy rights when you work part time on a temporary basis
My company will be closed by 2021. I have worked full time up to November 2016 and then went on maternity leave, returning on a part- time, temporary agreement. I then went on maternity leave again. My manager wants me to return full time in a “reasonable time”. Is there such a thing as a reasonable time? If I wanted to switch to full time six months before the company closure, would I be eligible for the full time redundancy package? I want to delay returning to full-time work as long as possible, but also I do not want to miss the benefits of a full-time redundancy package.
A redundancy payment is based on “a week’s pay” (subject to the statutory cap) and takes into account the employee’s age and the number of years of employment. Years of employment count equally for this purpose regardless of whether the employee worked full time or part time.
However, the issue is how the “week’s pay” is calculated. Where the employee is required under the contract of employment to work during normal working hours on days of the week or at times of the day that differ from week to week or over a longer period (so that pay varies from week to week), the amount of a week’s pay is based on the average pay and the average number of hours worked in the last 12 weeks before the calculation date.
I would say that, as there have been two periods of maternity leave and a period of part-time working, the redundancy payment may be calculated on the above averages.
When calculating redundancy when someone is on maternity leave statutory redundancy pay should be calculated using the normal week’s pay or average week’s pay received before the maternity leave period started. It should not be based on SMP or contractual maternity pay.
This is somewhat complicated and depends on whether you have normal working hours or not. It will also depend on what your contract states, and what hours/ days you return to after your maternity leave and how long for. Additionally, it will depend on whether your company offers statutory or enhanced maternity leave.