21 November 2014: In the recent EAT case of Sefton Borough Council v Wainwright, Mrs Wainwright was put at risk of redundancy during her maternity leave, but not considered for alternative vacancies until several months later.
Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 says that during maternity leave, if a woman’s role becomes redundant, where there is a suitable available vacancy, she is entitled to be offered that role.
The EAT held that LB Sefton had the duty to offer Mrs Wainwright a suitable alternative vacancy when it become aware that her role is redundant or potentially redundant, not at the end of the process.
LB Sefton left it until after the restructuring process was complete. That was too late and in breach of regulation 10. Ms Wainwright’s dismissal was therefore automatically unfair.
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