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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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    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

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    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

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    Great response, and also happy to assist

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    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

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    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

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    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

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    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

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    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

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    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

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    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jennice

    I was very impressed with the service that I received, and the speed in which it was handled. I would recommend them to a family member

    Posted 1 month ago