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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

4.76 Average

204 Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 1 month ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

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Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

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Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 3 months ago

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I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

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They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

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Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

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They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

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Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago