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Demotion following maternity leave

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My wife is due to go back to work following maternity leave in a few weeks time. While she was on leave her boss was fired. He was a pretty senior guy and she was his PA. His replacement is based in NY so her role in London isn't there anymore. She has spoken with her HR and they have assured her there is still a role for her but are giving her a few different people from the department that need a secretary but nowhere near the level she was working at when she left. She has effectively been demoted. However, the company has her on a technicality where all the PAs and secretaries have the same official job title even though their jobs vary massively. Does she have any grounds for a formal complaint and if so where should she start?


Any help massively appreciated

thx Michael.

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unless your wife has had a reduction in salary and bonuses etc, then theirs nothing you can do to be honest. however, if her responsabilitys are significantly reduced and theirs a significant change of her duties compaired to her old role and people that hold the same job title, then it could be implied that such demotion had taken place. but you would need to write to the company and ask them clarify your wifes position with regards to her old role and her new role.

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I think this will depend a lot on how the company has handled it, and what her previous contract was.


It sounds like her position became redundant and they are offering her alternative options, which is fair enough.

You (she) should have a written explanation describing whats going on from the company, what does it say?


Has there been any negative impact on pay/hours/employment T&C's?

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  • 11 months later...

Hello Michael. I'm wondering how things turned out for your wife and her job change after maternity leave last year. I've found myself in exactly the same predicament. I'd be most grateful to hear any advice you can offer. I'm meeting soon with Citizens Advice and hope they can shed light on my rights. Work is trying to make out that my new role is of an equal status to my role prior to maternity leave, but it's far from that!

Best wishes.

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