Have you sought legal advice on this? I believe it's unlawful too and discriminative. I would definitely be looking further into the legalities and confronting your organisation with legal representation.
I haven't read the replies but here is my advice.
As a manager of a large team who has had multiple employees go on maternity leave over the years, and have made two roles redundant on their respective returns, I would seek some professional advice as your situation doesn't sound legal. Perhaps contact Fair Work as a starting point.
In my industry, you hold your role until such time you return, as the organisation simple cannot say there will not be a role suitable to your experience xx months out from your return. If the role you held prior to maternity leave isn't there on your return, the organisation must ask you if you are interested in anything else, if you are willing to re locate (for large companies), and then search to attempt to place you into a suitable role. If this option is completely exhausted then a role can be made redundant.
I've never made a role redundant whilst the person is on maternity leave as you just cannot foresee what will or won't be available until 1-2 months prior to the return (especially in the projects business), which is when a manager should be making contact to ask about return specifics (e.g returning FT/PT, or extending leave etc).
All the best.
Last edited by Jholla; 08-04-2016 at 12:12.
Nearly everyone I have spoken to has said the same thing ( as it's such a despicable act ) but it's completely legal!
I've been talking to my union rep since I found out my role had gone in November. It's a small organisation and therefore as no other suitable role is available I've lost my job. All above board.
I was due back in 12 weeks and due to childcare places I had to bring their outcome forward a few weeks.
It's now affecting my confidence, I'm anxious about ever finding a role that's part time and not entry level and it's making me so down when I'm meant to be happy on mat leave. I'm so angry. 😞
Last edited by amiracle4me; 08-04-2016 at 14:12.
I know it's probably different than the industry I'm in as things can change in a matter of weeks on projects, but still, it is very poor form, especially given they wouldn't be paying you anything at this stage into the maternity leave anyway.
I'm so sorry this happened to you OP.
I think that is what shocked me the most when I arrived from France.
In my home country, when you are on maternity leave you are actually protected from being made redundant.
I found it so unfair that it's not the case here. Actually I will lobby my local MP tonight!!
I was made redundant in November and I wasn't due back until March this year! What makes me mad is that i know they've hired a number of new people to do my exact old position. In my case I truly believe that my old manager saw it as an opportunity to get rid of me and no one questioned her. I thought she was incompetent and I had proven this on a number of occasions - to her I was a threat so she got rid of me.
I had my fair trading forms all filled out to dispute whether it was a genuine redundancy but I thought about it and figured that I didn't want to go through the stress and heartache. I decided to just move on with my life. It was difficult to adjust and to gain my confidence back.
I'm back to work full-time and I'll admit that it's a struggle and I'm not thoroughly enjoying it. I often have guilt about being away from my son but i guess that's just life. Things don't always go to plan. I'm just trying to make the best out of a situation which wasn't part of the plan. I think that's the best that you can do.
It's such a crap thing to go through and it is absolutely appalling that so many of us mums end up experiencing this situation.
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