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Redundancy upon return from Maternity Leave

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Gyvybe | 12:14 Wed 04th Apr 2012 | Law
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I am currently on maternity leave which ends 1st July 2012. The employer has told me I will be made redundant in January 2013 or perhaps even earlier (Oct 2012), but expects me to return to work for what essentially is 3-4 months in order to 'qualify' for the redundancy payout. I suspect he is hoping I will not return at all in July, and he will save some money! I've worked for the company for 6 years and believe I am entitled to the redundancy payment. What shall I do? Shall I request an 'early redundancy' as of July 1st? My colleagues believe that the employer 'will not pay me not to return to work'. What can I do?

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Tend to agree with the last two answers here. You're on maternity, not awol. You are due back in July and the job is still there. Now wither you intended going back or you didn't. The fact that you now know the job will be gone in October or slightly later changes nothing. It's still there when you are due back and your options haven't changed one bit from what they...
23:19 Thu 05th Apr 2012
You are entitled to your payment, but only if you are made redundant, if you quit first (leave early) you are not entitled to a payment.

You can ask your employer to agree an earlier date while still retaining your payment but they don't have to agree to this. You can also put in a written counter notice during the statutory notice period (the last 6 weeks of employment for you) stating you are leaving early and if your employer doesn't object you'll still get the payment, if they do object (in writing) then you have to stay until the end to be entitled to a payout.
Is returning to work not an option for you?
Do not leave. You are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, which is not generous, but your employer may be paying more than the statutory amount. Redundancy is one of the five potentially fair reasons for dismissal provided it is a genuine redundancy. Establish what was the selection process and if there is alternative work.
Unfortunately an employer does not have to agree to an earlier release date even if you find a new job.
I was made redundant and qualified for an early pension. My old job was in London.
I got a new job in Cardiff and asked my employer if I could go a few hours early as the new job started the next day.
They would only release me a few hours early if I was willing to forgo my redundacy and early pension.
I had to leave London at 5.30 pm, get a train to Cardiff and start the new job at 8.30 am the next day. The start day was a Friday so I then had to come back over the weekend to collect my car etc.
Brady this sounds most unreasonable behaviour by your old employer who was under a statutory duty to permit time off to look for work or make arrangements for training for future employment, strictly this was not your reason for requesting to leave early but your request was reasonable and I think the behaviour of your old employer could have been challenged but I imagine you were more interested in starting the new job, than taking your old employer to an employment tribunal.
Hi Tony

My ex employer was most unreasonable.
As I was over 50 at the time, under my contract of employment the pension was payable immediately if I was made redundant.
The pension amounted to more than I got in salary from my new job and there was a substantial redundancy payment at stake as well.
I therefore could not leave without the agreement of my ex employers.
I went for the interview for the job in Cardiff in my ex employers time and was offered it by phone 2 days before my employment terminated in London and I got an e mail confiration. They put the starting date as the 1st of the month and my London employment terminated on the 31st of the previous month.
I did ask my departmental manager if I could leave early that day and he said only if I waived the early pension and the redundancy payment.
Unfortunately I could in theory have issued a grievance but the higher managers were absent so it could not be heard until after my employment was due to terminate.
I did write 2 letters of complaint but I never got any reply.
As it happened my new employers realised what had happened a few days later and said I should have phoned and ask for the starting date to be moved to the Monday.
They even gave me 5 days off work to move house as well as a few odd bits of time to see the solicitor etc.
why not just go back to work for six months?
Your job is not redundant as of July 2012, so how can you employer pay you redundancy?
Did you have any sort of occupational mat pay? If so, you probably have to return for a certain amount of time to not to have to pay it back
if you were not on mat leave, you could not just walk out the day you hear of the redundancy because you cant see the point in carrying on working there...so why would you be able to do it now?

if they are paying you then you should be expected to work the contracted period... just because you are off now doesnt mean it should be extended ... why should they pay you if you refuse to go back?
Tend to agree with the last two answers here. You're on maternity, not awol. You are due back in July and the job is still there. Now wither you intended going back or you didn't. The fact that you now know the job will be gone in October or slightly later changes nothing. It's still there when you are due back and your options haven't changed one bit from what they were before you heard this news. ie go back to work or don't.

In all honesty if I was your employer I wouldn't just allow you to go earlierand still pay redundancy. I don't see why they should.

If you were thinking of not returning to work then this is surely a bonus for you? Ok, you have to back for a few short months but then you'll finish up anyway AND they'll pay you something to go. If you always intended to go back to work then what has changed? You'll be going back to work and it will most likely be easier to find another job whilst in one.

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