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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

4.78 Average

143 Reviews

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Extremely efficient. Mel made a difficult situation bearable and gave good clear guidance thoughout.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Thanks Chris and Sacha I was reassured throughout the process and a happy outcome

Posted 2 weeks ago

Edward F

Good and clear employment advice

Posted 2 weeks ago

Richard O

Chris at Redmans is my go-to legal expert when it comes to employee-related matters. His depth of knowledge, experience and considered approach to problems and their solutions is highly valuable. I cannot recommend Redmans highly enough.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Rory Y

They provide me with timely and clear advice!

Posted 1 month ago

Steven C

Redmans handled my settlement with my employer quickly, decisively and to a standard that I was very happy with. I would in similar circumstances contract them again

Posted 1 month ago

Deepthi K

Transparent. Clear communication. Prompt reply’s. Saves lot of time. Very satisfied.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Sacha did a fantastic job and negotiated a significant better settlement agreement

Posted 1 month ago

Dino D

I did get a very swift and god service from Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

Stephanie H

Clear, prompt, effective support from Chris which has been very much appreciated. Thank you again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I would highly recommend Redmans Solicitors, the team were very friendly and my case was dealt with professionally and efficiently. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Shane M

Very professional, welcome advice at a crucial time. Always available and reasonable cost.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

My case was relatively straight-forward. But even so, working with Redmans was easy, quick, professional & clear. Many thanks

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The team were very helpful and answered all my questions regarding my redundancy. Initially I had a call with one of the representatives who escalated my request to a suitable employment solicitor. We arranged a call to discuss the settlement and she helped answer all my questions. We then mainly contacted through email which helped resolve the settlement quickly and convently. Thanks for all the help.

Posted 2 months ago

Djaouida T

You have good communication.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional. A highly recommended company for employment related issues.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 10 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 11 months ago