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Thread: Maternity Leave - Help No Position At Work For Me Anymore

  1. #1

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    Exclamation Maternity Leave - Help No Position At Work For Me Anymore

    Hi all,

    I would like some advise if any one knows, what happens if your boss does not have a position for you to go back to when your maternity leave is up?

    I have put in writing to say i will return but he has written back to say he may not have a position for me.......

    Will he have to pay me some sort of compensation or how does this work. I put in the letter i wanted to go back 3 days a week.

    If someone knows the ins and outs of this any advise will be helpful.....

    Jen


  2. #2

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    Hi Jen
    I'm not 100% sure on this, but this is the way I think it works. If you work full time and are entitled to maternity leave then they have to give you a job for same money/hours if you want to go back. If there is nothing for you, then they would have to offer you a redundancy.
    However, if you worked full time and want to go back part time, they don't have to agree to that and you would have to resign if you didn't want to go back to your old hours. They don't have to give you a job with different hours/conditions than you had before.
    This is the way it worked it the last job I was in and from speaking to others, seems to be pretty standard.

  3. #3

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    Megan is pretty much right, but in VIC some new laws came in last year(?). If you desire to go back part-time your employer needs to negotiate this with you. They can only refuse if they can prove that it would not be a viable prospect for them to employ you on a part-time basis. I know this because my boss showed me the paperwork when it was sent to him! GL, I hope you get the job you want.

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    Just wanted to know what state your in ? ?. The basic principles are the same. Your employer must hold your position for you whilst you are on Maternity Leave and if you request to return to work part time then the employer must provide a adequate reason if he/she can not accommodate that request. The emphasis nowadays is on a flexible, family friendly work environments. If you are a member of a Union I would have a chat to them and get some advice.
    Is it a small company - Large company ? ?

  5. #5

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    Hi First Bump,

    Congrats as well hows it all going, any morning sickness or anything yet. I hope all goes well with your pregnancy and you have a healthy happy bundle of joy arrive.

    Anyway i am from Qld, the company is a small/medium company a real estate company, I have written a letter to tell him i would like to start part time/casual at the end of my maternity leave and he wrote back to say he could not give me a position at this stage as he doesn't know what is happening, i have left it and not replied as i wanted to see what i do if he does not give me a position. I would assume he would have to pay me a redundancy package or something? I don't know. I am not a memeber of a union!

    Jen

  6. #6

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    Jen, I'm having to look into this as I'm currently facing possible redundancy. The upshot of it is this:
    If I have a full-time job when I go on Maty Leave then I get to keep it for when I come back.
    If I am made redundant, they have to keep me on until I go on Maty Leave and make me redundant when I return, if there is not a similar position to put me into when I do return.
    If I wish to be part-time, they are encouraged to go with my wishes, but they don't have to give me a job - they can say full time or nothing, if I choose nothing I have to pay back my Maty pay and I don't have a job.

    HTH.

  7. #7

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    Hey Jen,
    What the others are saying is right. It is in the Workplace Relations Act I think, have a look on line and see what it says on maternity leave. All organisations have to abide by this act because it is a Commonwealth Act. It outlines what the company has to offer in terms of maternity leave. They have to have a job for you when you get back. If they have filled your position, then they have to offer a similar position on the same pay, or kick the person out that they have replaced you with. They are not allowed to give the person filling in for you your job even if they are better at it than you. They also have to make it very clear to your replacement that it is only a maternity leave contract, and that they will have to vacate the job when you come back. If they have not done this, then they are in breach of the Act and may be liable.

    The idea is to give you every chance of returning back to work, and have to prove that they have done all they can. If there is genuinely no job to come back to, then they will have to make you redundant, and prove that there really is no position to go back to (a redundancy is saying the position is no longer needed, not the person).

    Be mindful also that it is a breach of the Equal Opportunity Act to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy or family, and if they don't want you back because you have had maternity leave, then they could be liable for this too.

    You can seek advice from the union even if you are not a member. Or if you are still concerned, you can call the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and they may be able to assist you.

    Good luck! And remember, you have a right to that job, it is not your fault that the company don't know their HR and IR responsibilities (can you tell that I am in HR/IR?)
    Last edited by {sarah}; October 9th, 2006 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Removed link.

  8. #8

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    Dragon bub is that the same though if you start mat leave as a Full Time employee & request to return only part time?
    I always thought it was your job or a job available with same pay that they had to offer you... If you wanted to change to Part time that had to be discussed, prior to wishing to return???

    Thanks!

  9. #9

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    I though that your boss had to give you back either the same job you had before taking leave, or one that is as close as possible in duties, responsibilities and pay if your other job no longer exists.

  10. #10

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    Jen you can still contact a union for advice even if you are not a member. The others are right - your employer has to give you your old job or something comparable after your maternity leave, unless you say that you don't want it. So he has to give you a position regardless. Make sure you get what you are entitled to!

  11. #11

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    Tracey, you can't demand a part-time job if your job is full-time, even if you cut back some hours prior to leaving. If you leave a full-time job, your employer does not have to offer you part-time. However, if you cut down to part-time pre-maternity leave, your boss can say that there is no full-time post for you. But if you're contracted for full-time, you can't demand part-time and have full legal back-up for it.

  12. #12
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    Hi Ryn,

    You're right when you say that you can not demand a part time position upon an employees return from Maternity Leave, however you can request it and the obligation is upon the employer to prove that it is not appropriate or that they are unable to accommodate your request. Unreasonable refusal to allow an employee to return to work on a part time basis may amount to unlawful discrimination.

    The emphasis is on flexible, family friendly working arrangements.

    If an employee has reduced their hours to part time leading up to maternity leave and wishes to return to their original full time role upon completion of that mat leave. The employer must provide you with your full time position.

    In addition to this, if an employee is employed under a NSW State Award, the Industrial Relations Act 1996, was amended a short time ago to reflect the push for more flexible, family friendly work environments.
    In addition to the legislated upaid 52 weeks maternity leave available to everyone. If you work under a NSW State Award you may now request to increase that by a further continous 52 upaid weeks.
    You now also have the right to request to return to work on a part time basis until the child reaches school age. The employer may only refuse a request for the latter two points on reasonable grounds related to the effect on their business or workplace.

    Hope this helps.

  13. #13

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    Ryn, That's what I was saying/meaning... Your Full Time job or equivalent MUST be available to you upon recommencement. You cannot return & say... But only for 2 days a week (if you were Full Time prior to leaving) & expect them to say Yes...

    Sorry if I confused anyone... I was saying what Ryn said, but just in a less intelligent & descriptive way!!!


    I am hoping to return 4 vdays a week after our next bub (have to get pregnant first) & working an hour longer each day...
    Last edited by Tracey; October 10th, 2006 at 11:19 AM. Reason: adding more!!!

  14. #14

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    I'm hoping to either not return at all, or return part-time and job-share. The NHS should be OK with that, but I must confess I don't want to go back at all any more. I will only start looking at that this time next year though, just in case they still plan to make me redundant so I can't go back at all haha!

  15. #15

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    Smile The Act

    Hey guys,
    Section 280 of the Workplace Relations Act states:
    (5) If the position (the former position ) no longer exists, and the employee is qualified and able to work for her employer in another position, the employee is entitled to return to:
    (a) that position; or

    (b) if there are 2 or more such positions—whichever position is nearest in status and remuneration to the former position.

    You are pretty much entitled to return to work in the job that you left. If you took part-time work during your pregnancy, you are entitled to return to work in the job that you had before the pregnancy.

    The others are right as well, you can't demand a part time job. However, you are able to request it, and the employer has to be reasonable in refusing it if that is what they want to do. If, for example, there is another position available that you are able to get part-time, then they should consider you for the role. If they don't they are discriminating on the basis of family responsibilities.

    There are alot of grey areas that apply to each separate case. Talk to your own Human Resources Manager about their policies. They might have it in there what they normally do,

    Good Luck!

  16. #16

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    Exclamation just to let you all know!

    Hi everyone,

    I thought i would let you all know that i have got some advise in reagrds to this issue of mine. I found out that if it is a company ie - (pty ltd) it is under a differnt act the federal act if not a company it is under the state act. This is a huge difference - It is sooo confusing i must say. It use to be simple and if you leave and go aon maternity leave your employer has to give you your job back.

    Now it has changed so this is what i found out!

    The lady advised me that if i wanted to return to work full time i am entitled to my full time job back, if that full time job is not available my employer has to give me work that is similar and in the same level and pay as my full time job before i went on maternity leave.

    If i want to return the work part time your employer does not have to agree to this. You can request part time work and maybe come up with an agreement with your employer but he does not have to accept at all, unless you can honestly say he is discriminating against you etc etc.

    On the other hand though, if you went to part time work before maternity leave you can then have that job back etc etc. If you went to back to work whilst on maternity leave it is a differnt issue all together.

    It is complicated and the lady advised me that every case is different so if you have a similar case then contact this number 1300363264 or you can email them direct your issues and they will call you back and discuss the web address is wagenet click on the little envelope up in the right hand side corner and follow the steps.

    On the up side my employer has advised in writing to me that he is happy for me to take on casual work ie - fill in on holidays relief work but he can not promise me any specific days or times. I would disscuss with your employer before going on maternity leave if you can return part time and get it in writing!!

    A big thanks to everyones advise and opinions - it is confusing i must say, remeber though every case is different!

    Hope this helps everyone and clears it up a bit.

    Jen
    x
    Last edited by Trillian; October 18th, 2006 at 08:16 AM. Reason: removing link

  17. #17

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    Wishing you the best of luck Jen, hope it works out for you!

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