View Full Version : My rights ...do i have any???
I had to give my employer 10 weeks notice before commencing my maternity leave, however i gave them about 4 months notice.
On my maternity leave papers, it asked for the 'return date' - as i was unaware of the month and date that i would like to return back to work i put that i was taking no less than 6 months of M.Leave (entitled to 12 months).
Before leaving i had many dicussions with my general manager and the supervisor of the department i was working in and i had told them that i was most likely returning before 6 months due to money issues, but i chose 6 months as a guideline for them. They both told me that was fine.
Also i have been in my position for almost 6 years and was required to do broken shifts (hospitality) - but when i got pregnant i had a verbal agreement with the manager that i would no longer do broken shifts due to living 45 minutes away from work and the fact of being pregnant, and i would not have to do them once returning back to work aswell.
I never got this in writing.
However i have been on maternity leave for only 2 months and i decided to call my boss to let her know that i would like to return to work in march ..... well guess what???.. The supervisor left, the general manager is leaving and theres a new manager in my department which he told me today that i cannot return back to work until April because i told them i was taking no less than 6 months therefore they put on someone to cover my place for that length of time and i have to return back to work and do broken shifts.
It seems as though this guy has no clue what its like to return back to work when your baby is 4 months old and you live 45 minutes away from work. I will never see my DS!!..
Do i have ANY rights as it was all verbal with the previous manager/supervisor??????.
Are you part of a union?
Definately approach your union for advice if you have one.
Verbal agreements are still meant to be binding, but are harder to prove, so it sorta puts you in a bad place.
There is also legislation on the industrial relations site (look up your particular state one for more specifics) but the NSW says that they ar obliged to look into part-time/reduced hours if so requested upon your return to work, I imagine split shifts should come into this. Are you under an enterprise agreement or state award? As this would generally only apply if you are under the state or federal award.
when I was on leave, the policy for the company i worked for had in place that the maternity leave could be terminated by me with one months written notice - ie if i wanted to return to work on 1st march, i'd have to have a written letter stating that in to them by the 1st Feb. It might be worth checking if your award.company policy has something similar.
You can ask to see a copy of the award/policies they are applying to stop you from coming back sooner - it is an offence for them not to provide you with that information.
I could be wrong but I thought you must return to the position that you left in. If you werent doing split shifts before you went on maternity leace (your time sheets should comfirm this) then you shouldnt have to do it when you return. Only because if i didnt want to work full time once returning i had to cut down my hs before i left.
It has been a long time, but I did look into this and I'm sure you are allowed to change your mind about the amount of maternity leave that you take. What I'm not sure about is how much notice you need to give and whether you can both lengthen (which I was prob interested in) AND shorten it.
Your union would be the very best place to start.
Thanks for the advice ladies!.
I don't have a union for the simple fact that i *thought* i would never need them because the people i work for are great and i also could not afford the near $20 per f/n (i know $20 is'nt much these days, but to me it's alot).
I'm not sure if it's worth getting into a union now before going back to work and that way i'll have them to back me up .. what do you ladies think??..
I do have a copy of my award and it states that full-time employee's can return back to the same position as p/t. I have never been f/t, i'm only employed as p/t anyway..
I think my award is "federal".
The NEW manager told me that i can return back to work before my 6 months, but i will only return as a casual employee (doing the same job) until my 6 month maternity leave is up and ONLY THEN i can resume my perm p/t position ... WTF???...
I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY concerned that i will have to go back to do broken shifts, when the agreement with the previous manager was that i don't return to do those anymore AND i can return to work at anytime i would like (giving atleast 2-4 weeks notice).
The new manager is VERY head strong - i'm going to have a battle with him i can see..
Do you have a HR manager you could discuss this with???
I have had to look into maternity leave quiet a bit in the last few months, due to only being 6wks away from giving birth. Not sure if its the same in every state but this is what i found for WA.
* What ever shift you leave doing (your last pay cycle), is what you must return to. If you were not doing broken shifts when u left, u will not have to do them when u return.
* The date u wrote down on ur maternity application form, is the first date that ur employer is obliged to have to let u return. You can apply to return early (must be in writing), however if they have filled the position for a set time, then they dont have to let u come back early.
* If you were paid materninty pay, then u must return for the same hours that u were paid maternity pay, and u must return for that amount of time. Eg. if you were paid for 3 days work per week for 3 months, u must return and do a min of 3 days per week for a min of three months, or u must pay back ur entire maternity pay (please note this is not the baby bonus).
Unfortunately anything that was not in writing is not leagally binding, especially if the company has been taken over by new managers/owners/etc.
This prob isnt what u were wanting to hear, but thought id let u know my findings... GOODLUCK!
Thanks for all the wonderful advice.
I have done some research and the legislation for my state says that i have the right to request returning back to work part time, and my employer has to seriously consider my request and has to provide good business reasons if they say "no". However they still have the right to turn down my request though :hissy:, but the only thing i'm requesting is to do no more broken shifts atleast for the first 12 months.
I also spoke to someone and they told me that if i believe my request has not been seriously thought out by my employer, then i can make a anti-discrimanation claim agaisnt them ... and you know what ladies, i'm going to play hard ball and try my absolute best to fight this - it's not far that i was made all these promises and now i've been left with no one to back me up because they all left AND it's certainly not far that the new manager has said No to my request straight up!!!...
I might get him to look after DS for 1 week, he can live at my house and do ALL my broken shifts, spend hours on the road getting to work and back and hardly see DS...
I wonder how he will cope??
What state are you in? :detective: Do you know whether you covered under state or federal workplace legislation?
I'm in TAS and i think its a federal award. I've read my award but it really does'nt seem to say a whole lot about maternity leave. If anyone can shed some light my award number is AW787952 (motel, accom and resorts).. It would be very much appreicated...
Just an update.
I called the union and i will be joining next week as soon as all the staff come back off their holiday break.
I was told that they will look into my award and it could be very well that my boss can make me go back to doing split shifts despite that i stopped doing them as soon as i got pregnant AND the verbal agreement i had with the general manager is not legal and there-for hard to prove.
Fingers crossed that my boss cannot make me go back to split shifts....
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