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redmans-blog-q&aChris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“Can can my employer make me redundant while I’m on maternity leave?”

I know that this is the kind of open-ended answer that you expect a lawyer to give, but the answer to to this question depends upon the factual circumstances.

If you give birth then you may take a period of Ordinary Maternity Leave (“OML”, which lasts for up to six months from the start of the maternity leave) and you may then take a period of Additional Maternity Leave (“AML”, which lasts for up to a further six months from the end of the period of OML).

If you only take OML then you are entitled to return to the same job in which you were employed prior to your absence. Your terms of employment upon your return to work must be the same as, or not less favourable than, they would have been were you not absent from work unless a redundancy situation has arisen.

If you take AML then you are entitled to return to the same job in which you were employed prior to your absence, unless it is not reasonably practicable for you to do so. A restructure of your employer’s business may mean that it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to your job but, equally, whether this is the case will depend on the particular factual circumstances of the redundancy.

ACAS recommends that, should your employer be considering making you redundant during a period of maternity leave, you should do the following:

  1. Consult with your Trade Union (if you have one) and discuss what is happening with any other employees, including those who are on maternity leave or on leave due to a pregnancy-related illness – are your colleagues also being treated the same way as you?
  2. Ask for your employer’s reasons as to why the redundancy is necessary and ask for any documentation they have to support the case for redundancy
  3. Ask for your employer’s criteria for selecting people for redundancy, and ask who will be making the decisions about who should and should not be made redundant
  4. Make sure that your employer consults properly with you on the redundancy
  5. Make sure that your employer does a proper search for any suitable alternative work in the business
  6. If you are made redundant and are unhappy with this, make sure to appeal your redundancy to the appropriate person

If you believe that your dismissal is because of (or principally because of ) your pregnancy or maternity leave then any dismissal would be automatically unfair. If you believe that your dismissal is connected with your maternity leave then your dismissal will be automatically unfair if the only (or principal) reasons for your dismissal is redundancy.

If you are dismissed for the reason of redundancy during your maternity leave then you may be entitled to receive redundancy pay – you should, at a minimum, receive statutory redundancy pay if you have two years’ continuous service with your employer but, equally, you may be entitled to enhanced redundancy pay (if your employer operates such a scheme).

To read more of ACAS’s guidance please click here

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

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Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

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Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

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Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

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Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

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Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

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Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

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Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris and Rana provide a great service, very informed, diligent and care about your result, would recommend Redmans

Posted 4 weeks ago

David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 1 month ago

Federico S

Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

Posted 1 month ago

Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 1 month ago

Francis T

The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

They are busy people but manage well so generally I would recommend them.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very efficient and professional service from my first phone call making an enquiry. Timescales of the matter in hand were met and within the agreed budget. Would highly recommend Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

Lisa B

Really very good service, always available to answer questions, provide my with any information I needed to make informed decisions.

Posted 1 month ago