Restructured during maternity leave

I have been informed that there is a restructure happening at my workplace whilst I am on maternity leave. The restructure involves my current post / job description being changed and downgraded, although it will involve the management of more staff. I have been advised that I will need to register interest for a post (there are two posts available both on the lower band). I understand my pay may be protected for two years before being reduced to the lower band. Please can you advise whether this is classed as being less favourable or whether my employer is entitled to do this? Also I current work as a 0.8WTE, but on the new structure all of the posts are 1WTE. Am I entitled to remain as 0.8?

Legally while on maternity leave, any unfavourable treatment of a woman because she is on maternity leave is unlawful.  A woman made redundant while on maternity leave must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy if the company has one, and you shouldn’t need to apply for it.

You must also always been consulted regarding the reasons for the redundancy, the selection criteria used, how the redundancy selection is carried out and be considered for any alternatives to redundancy and any suitable alternative work.
You have the right to be offered a suitable alternative role before anyone else is. If this isn’t the case then the redundancy can be seen as unfair.
The alternative job must be suitable and appropriate for you as the employee in your circumstances; if it is not then they do not have to offer you the role.
“Suitable” in this context means work that you as an employee can reasonably do and that is on terms and conditions not substantially less favourable to you. A job on a lower wage or salary will therefore not, technically, be suitable. Nevertheless, it is advisable for the employer to offer you a role and this is likely why they have offered it with a protected salary for two years. If you do not want to take this role, then you will have a right to be offered redundancy. You have a right to a statutory redundancy payment, if this is the case.
It is up to you to decide on if you feel the other role is suitable. I would look at how much difference in pay you would receive after the two-year protection period. I would advise that you ask about the availability of hours as again this can be a factor in whether the role is actually a suitable alternative for you.




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