A client got in touch with us last week, and it wasn’t good news.
It was from a lady who was off on maternity leave, and she’d discovered that while she was off, the company had created a new role and invited employees in the department to apply.
But here’s the problem – they offered out via work email, which obviously meant that this lady didn’t receive it.
Which in turn meant that she never got the opportunity to apply for the job, and raised a grievance as a result, citing a possible breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.
It might sound hard, but she’s right.
You see, the employee only needs to believe that they are suitable for the post – it doesn’t matter whether you believe (or know) that they’re not.
Failing to inform employees on any of their statutory rights of leave (maternity, adoption, paternity or shared parental leave, or a disabled employee on sick leave) may count as a detriment, which, just to clarify, is not good in employment law terms.
So what’s the solution?
Well, the easiest thing to do when you have a new job role is to send it to all absent employees via their private email or the reliable Royal Mail.
Best is always email, because you can set up read and delivery receipts, and you’re also likely to get a swift response.
And having the private email address is extremely useful should you ever need to enter into disciplinary or grievance processes with them as well.
So what did our client do?
We advised them to send the job offer, luckily not yet filled, and to offer a grievance meeting.
Thankfully the employee was not interested in the job: the rumours about it had made it sound much more attractive than it really was.
But from now on they will be sending out job roles to all absent employees, however unsuitable they think they are for them!