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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  solicitor
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Hi I am currently on parental leave (from my position as

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I am currently on parental leave (from my position as Head of product development) which started on 20th December and ends on 14th March this parental leave directly follows maternity leave (full 52 weeks). During my maternity my cover ( a contractor recruited specifically for the purpose of covering my position during my absence) was terminated which I was advised of prior to this happening, additionally 2 other members of my team ( direct reporting line into me) left the business and a decision was made not to replace them then, my manager's position was made redundant and my reporting line was changed into a newly created role. I had a meeting with my new line manager and the HR manager on 17th January to discuss my return to work where they advised me that my reporting line would be changing again into a newly created role Strategy and Innovation Director (job description yet to be created). They advised me that I would obviously be able to apply for the newly created role, however when I asked them whether, if I was succesful in my application or if I chose to not return to the business at the end my leave, I would be replaced or my current role would be 'left empty' they were initially indecisive but then said that it would probably be retained as it was more of a "programme and people manager type role' and the new role would be focussed on new innovation... My current job description has me reporting to the MD, on the senior management team and responsible for all new product innovation and strategy...

By the title of the new role alone I now feel that my role is being diminished; I will report into someone, who reports into the Operations Director where as i reported directly into the MD, my team has shrunk from 4 to 3 and some key elements of my role are now going to be done by someone else.

I feel that on this basis my role should be placed on consultation before my return to the business. Does this sound unreasonable?

Thanks in advance

Hello Sam,

No, what you feel is not unreasonable and you should raise the issues with your employer.

Having said that, if your employer is genuinely restructuring the various roles, including yours, then you may be asked to go through an application process, same as others. You should be consulted and kept informed in the same way as all other employees, failing this, you could claim that you are being treated unfairly because of your maternity leave.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I have requested the job description for the new role but have been told that this is not yet available, would you recommend that I wait for this to understand exactly how it will effect my role prior to raising my concerns?


Is it acceptable for me to suggest to them that I feel given the impact the new role will have on my role ( if it indeed does) that my role should be placed on consultation?


What is my course of action if they disagree?


Due to the difficulties and costs associated to arranging childcare I would prefer to have this resolved prior to returning as ultimately I feel redundancy is inevitable at some point. I genuinely feel that they are trying to gently coerce me into submitting my resignation prior to returning.


Many thanks



You may wish to wait to get more details about the apparent restructure before you pursue the matter further and if the new role does impact on your current role, then you can raise the issue of your role being put out for consultation.

If they disagree, you may raise a formal grievance and they would need to go through a formal process with you in accordance with their policy (if any) or if they do not have such a policy, the ACAS procedure:

If you are ultimately managed out of the role, you may consider an unfair dismissal claim, but it may be too early to think about that now.

Pleasde leave feedback.

UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: solicitor
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Hi, if you were on maternity leave and your employer is restructuring which is likely to create a potential redundancy situation, you will have certain rights under the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations, specifically Reg 10. In particular, if there is a suitable alternative position available you gave the right to be automatically offered that role, in preference to other employees whose jobs are also subject to the restructuring. You effectively get priority over other employees who are not on maternity leave. So you would not be expected to go through an application process for such a role as others may be.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Ben, but I guess by problem here is that they aren't using the term "restructure" here. They are simply informing me that they are creating a new role that my role will report into. I used to report directly into the MD. Whilst the MD role doesn't exist within the business the newly created role will report into the MD replacement role. I feel that this is clearly a diminishment of the grade of my role which should go through a formal consultation process.


The company are however extremely "nervous" about placing people on maternity/parental leave on consultation.