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Back from maternity leave to a dead-end, backwater job


Christine worked as a rehabilitation coordinator for a domiciliary care service. About to return from maternity leave, she contacted her manager about returning part time, which was agreed to before she went on leave. But she was now told by her manager that she could not work part time if she stayed in her previous role; instead, she would be moved to a part time ‘Service Coordinator’ role in a part time capacity. Christine saw this is as a backwards step, limiting her career development opportunities and becoming de-skilled. The location of the new position was also further from her home and so would increase transport costs; the increase in travel time would also impact adversely on her home and family life. 

Christine made a complaint to the Commission. The service responded by saying it had already looked into adjusting her position but, being a 'high priority position,' they said it was not feasible to make it part time. The duties of the job in the more remote location were most similar to the one that Christine was in before she left on maternity leave, which is why they chose it.

As a result of conciliation, the service looked again and found a position in a centre closer to where Christine lived. They also agreed to build her management and leadership skills in her part time position, and give her the right to return to her former position when she was able to work full time.

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