Can my employer refuse to offer me a suitable alternative job because I am on maternity leave?
No. If you are not offered a suitable alternative job because you cannot start it for a number of months because of your maternity leave, this would be maternity discrimination.
Am I entitled to be offered a suitable alternative job if made redundant while on maternity leave?
Yes. If your role has become redundant during your maternity leave your employer is legally required to offer you a suitable alternative vacancy if one is available. If other employees are made redundant, you get preference over them.
For example, if you are not offered a suitable alternative job and the reason for this is because you cannot start until the end of your maternity leave, this would be maternity discrimination.
Should I be offered a suitable alternative job if the redundancy happens after my return to work?
Not necessarily. If you only become at risk of redundancy after you have returned to work, you must be treated in the same way as other employees and will not have priority over any suitable alternative job. However, if you are not offered a suitable job for a reason related to your maternity leave, this may be maternity discrimination.
Do I have to apply for jobs I think are suitable alternatives?
No. Your employer must identify a suitable alternative job and offer it to you before other staff in the redundancy pool, without you having to apply for it.
What happens if I refuse an offer of a suitable alternative job?
If you are offered a suitable alternative job, which you decide without good reason not to take and you are made redundant, your employer can refuse to pay you redundancy pay.
Can I refuse an alternative job which is not suitable for me because it is at a different location?
If you are offered a job at a different location and this means additional childcare and travelling problems, it may not be suitable. This means you could reject the job and would be entitled to a redundancy payment.