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No contact from employer weird situation!!


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Hi all,

 

I'm looking for some advice on what might seem to be a strange situation. I was employed to do a job three years ago (october just gone) and was never given a written contract to sign, only verbally told my hours of employment were 12 (4hours over three days) 12 months into my employment (sept 2009) my hours were extended to 19 hours a week. I was told I would be allocated holidays (which have always been paid when I'd taken them). In April 2009 I found out I was pregnant and verbally told my boss a few weeks into my pregnancy (his attitude towards me somewhat seemed to change) i.e I had booked a days holiday and forgot to fill out a holiday form (which had never been a problem prior but was acceptable if this was the procedure) but had written it on the holiday board, when the time came to take the holiday he said I couldn't have it because I didn't fill out the form, also there was talk of my area of work being changed to an area with a high crime rate (I was a little nervous to say the least) especially after finding out I was pregnant. I was finding it increasingly difficult to continue with my day to day working due to suffering from SPD (a condition brought on with pregnancy) and due to my job entailing a lot of walking and my doctor advising me that this would not be helping I went off sick, this continued up until I planned to take my maternity leave at 29 weeks!! I wrote to my employer at 25 weeks pregnant and advised them that I would like to take my maternity at 29 weeks, but never heard anything back from them so I continued to send in sick notes up until 39 weeks of my pregnancy when I required work to stop paying me so my Maternity Pay could take meaning I would have longer off with my baby. I had no risk assessment done in my pregnancy and no communication was made to me as my boss said they couldn't contact me by law because I was of sick as it would be harrassment hmmmmmmmmmmmmm???? I sent in my SMP maternity claim form and they sent it back with the relevent documentation stating that I couldn't claim SMP this was the only corrispondence from them up untill May this year when they sent a letter containing my p60 asked what my future intensions are regarding going back to work. Now my employer has moved offices and I have had no information regarding their whereabouts (although it shouldn't be too hard to track them down), surely I should have been informed about this?? As far as I'm concerned i'm still employed by them but feel a little putoff about returning to work for them as I feel that they are going to make it difficult for me to work there upto the point where i'll just want to find alternative employment!!

 

Can anyone advise??

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OK - yes, I agree. That's weird. But since they asked you what your intentions about returning to work were in May - what was your reply? And where have you been between then and now - I'm having a bit of difficulty working out when your maternity leave started and when it finished / finishes, or what maternity leave rights you exercised.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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I am yet to reply to the letter, my maternity wasn't due to expire until mid September and have decided to take extended maternity leave without pay until December 2010.

 

I'm afraid that it doesn't quite work like that. If they wrote to you and you didn't bother replying, then it isn't a case of them not contacting you - you failed to answer their query six months ago and they can reasonably say that they assumed you were not returning". The responsibility to communicate is two way - and it was you who didn't reply! So if you haven't informed them that you intend to return (or informed them of anything at all) then I am afraid they probably interpreted this as a resignation

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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according to maternity rights it states that the employer should have written to me to confirm my return to work date. I have never received this, along with no risk assessment, or any benefits I should have received whilst on my maternity leave

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according to maternity rights it states that the employer should have written to me to confirm my return to work date. I have never received this, along with no risk assessment, or any benefits I should have received whilst on my maternity leave

 

They did write to you. They wrote to you in May and asked what your intentions were reagrding going back to work - and you didn't reply! So how were they to interpret that lack of a response from you? It is normal when going on maternity leave to say whether you intend to return at the end of it or not - many people do. So basically you left them hanging with no idea of whether they had someone who intended to return or not. From their point of view - it wasn't them who diappeared but you. You could have written back and said that you were returning after your maternity leave, or that you weren't, or that you hadn't made up your mind. But you did not do any of these. At best this is therefore six of one and half a dozen of the other.

 

I don't know what you mean by your not receiving any benefits whilst on maternity leave because you haven't said. But again, communication is a two way thing. They wrote to you and you didn't reply. If they failed to provide benefits that they were supposed to - why haven't you contacted them sometime between May and now to find out what has been going on?

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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