Unfortunately, a month after starting my new job we were all told our team (along with three other teams in other locations) would be moved from Hull to Watford meaning we would have to relocate if our job was being moved to the new offices. Mine was one of the jobs that was definitely being moved and as there was no option for me to request the role stayed in Hull (about 20miles from my house) ot was clear I would be being made redundant when the move happened.
A summary of my redundancy process
The short version of the story goes – we all went through group consultation to negotiate terms for us collectively then once that finished we went on to our individual consultation meetings to discuss what we each wanted to do. I told them straight away that I couldn’t move due to just buying a house, my husband working in York and my family all being nearby. My second and final meeting was today. At this point my manager knows I am pregnant but, as I am not 12 weeks yet, I have not officially told him or HR. I also didn’t want to combine the two things together as I was fighting for a better redundancy package at the time.
Maternity pay entitlement
I thought it’d be useful to share my experience in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar position. We were told during group consultation that anyone who was pregnant and had passed their ‘qualifying week’ – the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth – before the date they are made redundant qualified for full maternity pay (in a lump sum when they leave). For me, I will be made redundant on 28th February and my due date is 15th March so I am definitely past my qualifying week and am entitled to my maternity pay and my redundancy pay which I will get in a lump sum after I leave.
It is a shame that I am being left with no security of a job to go back to after having the baby but I am seeing the positive side of the situation. It gives me the freedom to be off for as long as I want – more than a year if that’s what we can afford rather than having to give a return date – and getting all the money at once allows me to work out my budget for my time off and how long I can afford to be off. Also, as I work in Digital Marketing and Content Writing I also have the opportunity to continue working whilst I am off as I can do this easily from home (maybe even for some of my soon-to-be ex-colleagues which would be great!).
Have a look here if you would like any more information or guidance about redundancy during pregnancy.