Forum home Road cycling forum The cake stop

Maternity Leave

capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,265
edited October 2018 in The cake stop
I'm interested to know if there are any rules/laws in place that protect those employees that are in workplaces where someone has taken maternity leave.

Situations like...

Imagine a department with 20 employees, all doing the same task. One of them goes on maternity leave, that person's work is shared around the department for the leave period. I don't know if that is 'allowed' or if the other employees even have any say in it, but lets just say for the moment that it's reasonable for the others to take up the extra duties.

Now imagine that the department only has 2 employees. To me it's unreasonable to expect the remaining person to take on the job of two people, but is there any protection in law? Most companies will take on someone as "maternity cover", do they have to?


There's plenty of info about the rights of the woman taking the leave, I've not found anything about the above.


The older I get, the better I was.

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,476
    Not that I'm aware of.

    Reasonableness doesnt come into it for the remaining employees - whilst many do get maternity cover, others do just spread the work around - the problem for the employer is they don't know (and cannot ask) when the mum-to-be is returning. It's up to them to volunteer the information - if they want to. I completely understand that as it's a huge change. Anyway - besides the point.

    Is it unreasonable to expect 1 person to cover their job and that of a colleague who may be off for up to a year - well - if they're salaried and are expected to work unpaid overtime to achieve it then yes - if they're just expected to do the bare minimum to cover and can cope with that in the normal working time then no. It really depends on the roles and expectations... but there's no law that I know of that says an employer must employ maternity cover.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,058
    Reading between the lines. Say you'll do what you can. (And are comfortable with).
    Any further demands and mention that they may well end up with zero cover.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 635
    2 down to 1 has fail writ all over it.
    Holidays, illness, pregnant ( :) ) etc.
    Would they need the second person to return if one is able to cope. ....
    Dave
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 16,896
    david7m wrote:
    2 down to 1 has fail writ all over it.
    Holidays, illness, pregnant ( :) ) etc.
    Would they need the second person to return if one is able to cope. ....
    Dave
    This. Either 2 people are needed or they aren't.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • verylonglegsverylonglegs Posts: 3,415
    rjsterry wrote:
    david7m wrote:
    2 down to 1 has fail writ all over it.
    Holidays, illness, pregnant ( :) ) etc.
    Would they need the second person to return if one is able to cope. ....
    Dave
    This. Either 2 people are needed or they aren't.

    Even in a wider context it is still true. The admin support team for the department I work in consists of 7 and when one of those was due to go on maternity leave a temp was drafted in, trained and then in place for the duration necessary. If the other six had the spare capacity to learn and pick up the job without a drop in standards for a prolonged period then someone further up would be asking why the role existed in the first place.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,145
    I've had this (I think the team was about 5 strong). The employer decided not to bring someone in as it's difficult to get qualified people to cover short term positions and they take a while to get into how a company works or familiarise themselves with the job. At the end of the maternity leave the person decided they weren't going to come back so we ended up recruiting someone when we could have done so 12 months earlier.

    The increase in paid parental leave is a good thing but it's very onerous on a small business and I don't understand the reasoning behind the employee not having to inform the employer how long they intend being off.
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    Whether it is still legal now but jobs have been advertised as 'to cover period of maternity leave', to keep staffing up or if it is a big department there is usually a built in allowance to cover absences for what ever reason.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,265
    pblakeney wrote:
    Reading between the lines. Say you'll do what you can. (And are comfortable with).
    Any further demands and mention that they may well end up with zero cover.

    Not quite as simple as as the situation I used for illustration, however....

    Lass is going on maternity leave because she can't possibly do the work whilst pregnant, someone 'acts up' to cover her role leaving a space that could need to be covered if the acting up chap was off for any reason.

    The rub is that the job that could need cover took the chap in there now 18 months to learn properly whilst shadowing the previous incumbent and is quite dangerous. The sort of dangerous where you don't get two goes at it and it's permanent.

    I've been asked to provide that cover starting soon. :roll:


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,583
    plowmar wrote:
    Whether it is still legal now but jobs have been advertised as 'to cover period of maternity leave', to keep staffing up or if it is a big department there is usually a built in allowance to cover absences for what ever reason.

    I'm about to finish (essentially) covering someone's maternity leave (a former protege of mine). It was always made clear that this was a temporary contract which may or may not be extended depending on the mother's decision.

    My recompense for the uncertainty was to ask for a hefty amount more money and for them to cover my rent - a pretty significant amount of dosh.

    (this is The Netherlands however and these things tend to be codified reasonably well. Pross has a point to that there arent many other experienced "Nomadic, single, free spirits"/"Single lonely old gits" around...)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,735
    Pross wrote:
    The increase in paid parental leave is a good thing but it's very onerous on a small business and I don't understand the reasoning behind the employee not having to inform the employer how long they intend being off.
    My understanding is that they're entitled to take 12 months regardless. If they say they'll return in 6 months when starting then decide to go for the full term then the'ey're still entitled to do so.
  • Capt Slog wrote:
    pblakeney wrote:
    Reading between the lines. Say you'll do what you can. (And are comfortable with).
    Any further demands and mention that they may well end up with zero cover.

    Not quite as simple as as the situation I used for illustration, however....

    Lass is going on maternity leave because she can't possibly do the work whilst pregnant, someone 'acts up' to cover her role leaving a space that could need to be covered if the acting up chap was off for any reason.

    The rub is that the job that could need cover took the chap in there now 18 months to learn properly whilst shadowing the previous incumbent and is quite dangerous. The sort of dangerous where you don't get two goes at it and it's permanent.

    I've been asked to provide that cover starting soon. :roll:

    normally I would advocate throwing yourself into it or start looking for another job. However if it is dangerous you really should look at escalating your concerns or whistle blowing. People losing life/limbs to save a few quid is not reasonable behaviour and you should take appropriate action.
  • Tashman wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    The increase in paid parental leave is a good thing but it's very onerous on a small business and I don't understand the reasoning behind the employee not having to inform the employer how long they intend being off.
    My understanding is that they're entitled to take 12 months regardless. If they say they'll return in 6 months when starting then decide to go for the full term then the'ey're still entitled to do so.

    That's fair enough, but at least when hiring for the temp, they can at least give the temp incoming candidate an idea of how long they will be in the post for.
  • verylonglegsverylonglegs Posts: 3,415
    Capt Slog wrote:
    pblakeney wrote:
    Reading between the lines. Say you'll do what you can. (And are comfortable with).
    Any further demands and mention that they may well end up with zero cover.

    Not quite as simple as as the situation I used for illustration, however....

    Lass is going on maternity leave because she can't possibly do the work whilst pregnant, someone 'acts up' to cover her role leaving a space that could need to be covered if the acting up chap was off for any reason.

    The rub is that the job that could need cover took the chap in there now 18 months to learn properly whilst shadowing the previous incumbent and is quite dangerous. The sort of dangerous where you don't get two goes at it and it's permanent.

    I've been asked to provide that cover starting soon. :roll:

    normally I would advocate throwing yourself into it or start looking for another job. However if it is dangerous you really should look at escalating your concerns or whistle blowing. People losing life/limbs to save a few quid is not reasonable behaviour and you should take appropriate action.

    Also whoever is putting Slog in that position is making themselves potentially liable for serious consequences should he get injured due to inadequate training.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,265
    Thanks for the input, all. Some useful ammo in there.

    Considering how much legislation there is in place to protect the mother in this situation, I find it odd that there's nothing to help the rest of us.

    I've no doubt I'll get landed with the work, it's already been put to me that it's just about expected, they were surppised that I had any objection.

    Ah well, we'll see. I have my eyes very firmly on the light at the end of teh tunnel, 60th birthday next year. :)


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 16,896
    Capt Slog wrote:
    Thanks for the input, all. Some useful ammo in there.

    Considering how much legislation there is in place to protect the mother in this situation, I find it odd that there's nothing to help the rest of us.

    I've no doubt I'll get landed with the work, it's already been put to me that it's just about expected, they were surppised that I had any objection.

    Ah well, we'll see. I have my eyes very firmly on the light at the end of teh tunnel, 60th birthday next year. :)

    I think there is quite a bit of H&S legislation; just because it doesn't mention maternity cover doesn't mean it doesn't apply to you and your employer.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Paragraphs in your work contract (if you have one) may have some safeguards which may help you, or at least mean you are not being totally exploited, for example:

    - the overtime anyone has to perform (to cover someone temporarily missing) typically shouldn't mean the worked hours exceed 10 hrs per day or average 48 hrs per week (whereby this average is per every 3 weeks), even if one is salaried and normally expected to do unpaid overtime for the actual real job.

    - if the cover work includes functions beyond your job description (if you have one), you should be appropriately compensated for the extra responsibility/tasks. The extra functions shouldn't normally include require additional education/training in order to perform the temporary assignment.

    - additional compensation would normally be required if the cover work is considered dirty, dangerous, physically demanding, or done in awkward circumstances (and one's real job isn't so considered). Awkward circumstances would include extremes of hot/cold, smokey conditions, amidst poisons, acids or bacteria, in active sewers, at free-fall heights over 12 metres, etc.

    (I've used my work contract to give the above examples, so they may be different elsewhere)
Sign In or Register to comment.