UK Employment Law?

My daughter took extended maternity leave to have her first child. Her post was full time. Her husband has gone self employed and works long hours Monday to Saturday. My daughter wishes to resume her employment as an Appliance Sales Manager for a high street retailer on Sundays. They have told her that they do not require cover at her store for Sundays, although they do trade from that store for six hours every Sunday. They have accused her of being inflexible which is unfair as because of child care this is the only day she can work. They have now given her an ultimatum to resume her normal hours or they will commence deciplinary proceedings with a view, presumably, to terminating her employment. She has worked for them for approx. ten years and is currently owed three weeks holiday pay. She has offered to accept ten years redunadancy plus her her holiday pay and an amount to cover her whilst she seeks seeks alternative emplyment equal to five days pay. They have refused this.

14 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your daughter is taking the piss out of her employers.

    It is not the companies fault if your son in law now works Monday to Friday and your daughter has now decided that she wants to work Sunday.

    The company is well within it's rights to sack your daughter if she refuses to do her original hours and rightly so. If it were the company who decided to move the goal posts to suit themselves as your daughter is trying to do, then no doubt your daughter would have moaned about that.

    Your daughter can't expect to have it both ways, ie, expect the company to observe the rules but be happy to bend them for her own self interest.

    Source(s): Common sense.
    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Take a look at this site, its the Equal Opportunities Commission and the position on returning to work after maternity leave

    http://www.eoc-law.org.uk/Default.aspx?page=2979

    My sister-in-law worked full time for a high street bank before having her children. Each time she returned to work she had to take the deal they offered, they were a little more flexible than your daughters' employer in that she went back 2 days a week plus alternate Saturday's. The second "return" enabled her to change where she worked so she was closer to home.

    Your daughter needs to investigate alternative child-care arrangements - a local nursery or creche, either close to her place of work or near home. Her husband/partner may need to see if he can help as both of them should participate in sorting this out.

    If you can help with child care too, I'm sure they'll be grateful.

    It would be nice if her employer were to offer part time, so that she did not have to be away from her baby too much, but I don't believe they are required to. Its a very short-sighted approach and not what the current government is supposed to be promoting!

    I wouldn't think the retailer in question, would like to be hauled over the media coals over something like this. However I do think your daughter is asking a lot, to just expect to go back on one weekend day, when previously she worked for them full time. She does not have the upper hand here, except that her employer will not like to be seen as "family unfriendly"! This is possibly the only thing she can push with them.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • KJ
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Employers have to look at flexible working hours when requested by new mums returning to work, but can refuse as long as they can show business reasons for doing so (such as insufficiency of work during proposed working hours).

    A mum returning to work following maternity leave should be able to return in the same position as when she left, or if she took additional maternity leave she must be able to return in an equal position. This works both ways and it is not fair to expect an employer to create a position just to fit in with a returning mum's requirements.

    The employer wouldn't necessarily have to make your daughter redundant either, as she was not an Appliance Sales Manager only on Sundays before maternity leave. She may need to be a bit more flexible. When an employer makes a redundancy it is the position they make redundant, not the individual, and there is a set amount of time during which they cannot employ anyone else in a redundant position for (6 months I think).

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/employmentmaternitypa...

    "The employee is entitled to return to the job in which she was employed before she left on maternity absence, and on terms and conditions not less favourable than those she would have been on if she had not been away."

    She can take them to an employment tribunal if they dont play ball. I doubt that the company would allow this to happen because it would probably end up in the papers and the british public would shop elsewhere!

    Get some legal advice from a solicitor, if they do terminate her employment, she will be able to sue for compensation, especially as she has worked there for so long. Its maybe a better option.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Mark R
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The company are within their rights, - but...

    They are also obligated to have a "family friendly/flexible" policy, where work attendance requirements take into account individuals childcare needs.

    I would suggest she pushes this with them, particularly now her hubby is self-employed, working long hours, trying to establish his business.

    This does look to me very much that they have made alternative arrangements for employment whilst she was off and frankly, - I think an Employment Tribunal would find in her favour.

    Source(s): I'm an Operations Manager in a large organisation.
    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I'm sorry but i understand where the company is coming from, if she was offering part time say 2 or 3 days or half days per week then that would be better but just to offer Sundays isn't good enough

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Dee L
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The law only says that they have to offer her similar work when she returns from maternity leave.

    If she wishes to change her working hours/days and the firm cannot accomodate this then there is nothing she can do - she has breached her contract of employment and as long as they follow legal process they can sack her.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    when you have taken maternity leave the company HAVE to accept you back under the same terms and conditions which existed when you took the maternity leave.

    if they dont and offer you alternative hours you dont have to accept. if they threaten disciplinary action this can be an attempt to force you out of employment.

    your daughter may have jeopardised her case by saying she will leave under certain conditions.

    take legal advice straight away

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They don't want her working just Sundays cos as a manager she gets paid a higher rate than the others and they'd also maybe have to pay her extra(time and a half) so they're trying to cut costs.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I believe that you are supposed to go back to the job you did before you left. Seek advice from an somewhere like citizens advice or ACAS, or a union.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.