Mother awarded €12,000 after demotion following maternity leave return
A general manager of a hotel who returned to work after being on maternity leave to find she had been effectively demoted has been awarded €12,000.
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) made the award after the woman brought a claim against the hotel under the Maternity Protection Act.
The mother had her baby in March of last year and was due to return to work in January of this year from maternity leave.
Prior to returning to work, the mother learned that a new management role, more senior to her own, had been created in her absence and she would now be reporting to the new manager.
The woman found on that returning to work in January, her laptop and email account were not accessible and there was no office or workstation ready for her.
Unable to resolve the issues with the new senior hotel manager, the employee consulted her doctor, who placed her on sick leave.
In a letter to the owners of the hotel, the woman described the situation as "untenable".
The woman didn't return to work and tendered her resignation on April 4, 2016.
The woman claimed she was not permitted to return to the position she left to go on maternity leave, contrary to the provisions of sections 30 and 31 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994.
In reply, the hotel firm stated that the woman's salary and responsibilities would have remained the same. The WRC found the worker had her rights breached under the Maternity Protection Act.