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Maternity leave: After a re-organisation my job is redundant – What are my rights?

My employer has re-organised my department and offered my job to someone else on a permanent basis and stated that my position is redundant. What are my rights?

An employee returning to work after maternity leave is entitled to return to the job that she was doing before her absence with her seniority, pension rights and other benefits intact as if she had not been absent and on terms and conditions not less favourable than those that applied prior to the maternity leave.

A refusal to allow the employee to return following maternity leave would count as a dismissal which, depending on the reasons for it, may be automatically unfair and may also amount to direct sex discrimination. If the employer was able to offer a suitable and appropriate job in a subsidiary company she would not have an automatic right to claim unfair dismissal, and if she does not have one year’s service she cannot claim unfair dismissal at all.

Provided in these circumstances the alternative job was offered on terms and conditions commensurate with her original job then the only available remedy would be in respect of injury to her feelings.

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